Police Remove Skimming Device From Gas Pump

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NEW COLUMBIA--When you pump gas, many times you're in a hurry and you don't think about identity theft. But that's exactly what happened to some people who pumped gas at Short Stop, just off Interstate 80 in Union County.

State police removed a skimming device from inside one of the gas pumps at Short Stop in New Columbia yesterday. Troopers say when people put their credit cards into the machine the skimmer saved the information, and it was stolen.

Steve Geiger pulled up to pump one at Short Stop gas station just off Interstate 80 in New Columbia, like he often does. He tells Newswatch 16 he was on his way back from his bank, changing his credit card information, because it was recently stolen.

"The only place I really use it is to get gas. Here? Here and over in West Milton," Geiger said.

According to state police, they removed a skimming device from inside pump one on Thursday. They don't know when the device was put there, but it was reading people's credit card information. Troopers say several people made identity theft reports.

"And it's stolen. My identity it was taken," Geiger said.

The manager at Short Stop tells Newswatch 16 employees saw complaints from customers on social media about their bank accounts being drained. That's when employees called police.

"A family of six, four kids. If I came here to get gas with the last money I had for the week and if someone goes in there and drains my account, that's food on the table that I'm not going to be able to do for my kids," Justin Merrill said.

Some drivers tell Newswatch 16 this won't happen to them because they're using the old-fashioned method to buy gas.

"Now at the gas pump everything's going to be cash," Geiger said.

"I pay cash, this way I don't have to worry about whether credit cards are going to work or get held up or anything like that," Thomas Afilani said.

While Newswatch 16 was at the gas station today, several people came up to us saying they were victims of this crime. State police recommend people check their bank statements if they've been to Short Stop in Union County recently and call police if you have any information.


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