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Police Looking To Identify Card Scammer

SAINT CLAIR -- More people have come forward saying their credit and debit card information was stolen at gas pumps in Schuylkill County.

It comes as police release pictures of a possible suspect and car involved in the card-skimming operation.

Saint Clair police working with state and other agencies believe this operation is based in New York.

People at the pump are still trying to figure how something like this could happen.

Pictures show an unidentified man at the cash register at the Exxon Mobil on Route 61 in Saint Clair.

Police believe that man driving a four-door Toyota or Honda put sophisticated devices on gas pump number 2 and was able to steal PIN numbers from debit cards.

"You can't use your debit card anywhere anymore. People don't want to work; they would rather just steal your money," said Edward Kerns.

Kerns is one of those victims. This is the first time something like this has happened to him.

"My wife told me not to but that's what happens," he said. "My card was used up in New York for $53 and some change. Somebody got gas with it."

Police say most of the withdrawals took place in the New York City area and northern New Jersey.

For those in Schuylkill County that come to this gas station regularly, this scam is disturbing.

"You don't expect to get a credit card fraud. You got bills to pay and you can't pay them when they freeze your bank account," said Brandon Barr.

Some of those scammed debit cards belonged to customers at CACL Federal Credit Union in Pottsville.

Chief Operations Manager Francesco Mercuri tells Newswatch 16 people should sign up for text alerts to track where your credit card is being used.

"If you are getting text alerts and the location is elsewhere, then you are ready to call up your financial institute and let them know fraudulent transactions have been performed on my account," said Mercuri.

For folks who have lost more than gas money at the pump, they'll have to be more cautious in the future.

"If you've been going to the same ATM or the same gas pump and see something different or doesn't belong, call authorities.

Saint Clair police are continuing to investigate.

Members of the CACL Federal Credit Union who were impacted by the skimming will be reimbursed.

3 comments

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    This isn’t scamming. The thief neither had any contact with his victims, nor were they willing participants.. This is identity theft, robbery and a few other charges regarding electronic crime I’m sure.

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