NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Deputies in New Kent are warning residents after several credit card skimming devices were located at a county gas station.
According to the county deputies, their office became aware of the illegal device on Friday, Sept. 25.
Representatives of the Valero gas station, located at 2540 New Kent Highway, contacted deputies “after credit card skimming devices were found to have been installed inside of multiple gas pumps.”
“The face panel was actually opened, and that the skimmer device went between the card insert on the front of the pump, and the actual computer inside of the pump,” explained Sheriff Joe McLaughlin.
McLaughlin says they’ve heard complaints from drivers who had erroneous charges from retail and online distributors showing up in their bank accounts.
Because the gas station is located near Interstate 64, the sheriff’s office says long distance travelers may have also fallen victim to the scam.
Not only that, he says these skimmers used Bluetooth. Meaning, it’s highly likely the perpetrators were nearby, stealing personal information in real time.
So, what can locals do? Keep an eye out for the security tape on pumps, pay inside, or use cash, authorities suggest. Also, there are new payment methods: some gas stations offer Apple Pay or one-touch card transactions.
As of Monday afternoon, Sheriff McLaughlin said there was no suspect information to pass along. Deputies are hoping security footage can help track them down so they can face the consequences.
“It could be local charges,” Sheriff McLaughlin said. “More likely there would be federal charges placed because of the interstate commerce use or the individual’s credit information outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
The Sheriff’s Office says they’ve fielded over 20 calls already about the issue.
Michael Amory said his nephew was hit, turning a nightmare into reality for drivers in New Kent County.
“He was just like, ‘I’m having some crazy activities going on in my account.’ And I was like, ‘well, the gas station up there where we get diesel all the time, they said they found skimmers on the pumps,'” Amory said.
The incident is currently under investigation.
Anyone who has noticed fraudulent activity on their account after using their credit or debit card at this location to please contact New Kent Sheriff’s Office at (804) 966-9500.
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