AVON – ‘Skimmer’ devices have robbed several debit card users who bought gas at the Exxon Mobil gas station on the circle in the Village.
The Avon Police Department has recovered several skimmer devices from inside gas pumps there starting at the end of August.
“We found four skimmers in October and received no complaints via Community Bank on anyone from that incident,” said Acting Avon Police Chief Joe Geer. “Then, about a week and a half ago, we found one more skimmer and received numerous complaints.”
The skimmers are invisible to customers. 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. “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 there are no more devices there and that any that do go in will be found and removed.
“As of this morning there have been no more skimmers found,” said Geer. “We just ask anybody who purchased gas with a debit card at the Exxon Mobil on the circle within the past month to make sure they check their checking account regularly to watch for fraudulent charges. We want people to always be aware of the purchases they are making with debit and credit cards and check their accounts regularly for suspicious charges.”