AVON – The investigation into the ‘skimmer’ devices used to steal from Exxon Mobil customers on the circle in the Village is now in its next phase.
Acting Avon Police Chief Joe Geer said that investigators believe that they have made contact with all of the victims impacted by the hidden devices. Now, Avon Police and their law enforcement partners in Monroe County are tracking the suspects.
“We are now working with Monroe County law enforcement to locate these individuals,” said Geer.
The ‘skimmer’ devices are fairly sophisticated and invisible to a customer pumping gas outside. They are hidden inside, connected to the pump’s internal electronics to steal financial information.
The first sign that you have been scammed is when it is too late, when you catch a fraudulent charge to your debit card.
“It’s a device that goes inside the pump,” said Geer in November, when the investigation began. “It collects card information just like you were swiping your card at a grocery store. The gas purchase go through and the customer would not be aware that the skimmer is there. It would take someone who’s familiar with the process about 10 minutes to put in four devices.”
The Avon skimming operation is thought to be part of a coordinated effort to scam customers at gas stations in the eastern U.S. that are not open 24 hours a day.
The Avon Police Department continues to investigate and monitor the situation. The gas station originally reported the skimmers, installed security cameras and regularly checks the pumps for more devices. Police are confident that the gas station was not involved in the scheme, that there are no more devices at the gas station and that any that do go in will be found and removed. No other devices have been found since November.