More skimmers found at gas stations
MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WRGT) - Five skimmers have been found at gas stations in Ohio this month alone.
That includes three down in Butler County.
We went along with inspectors looking for others today, December 30, 2016.
This past year, 30 skimmers have been found in the state.
Right now inspectors haven't found any in Montgomery County.
They said thieves who know what they're doing can install a skimmer in 30 seconds.
Eddie Gehres was checking to make sure there was no credit card skimmer inside a gas pump.
"What they would do is they would plug or pull this out and put it back in," Gehres demonstrated.
It's a crime that really took off a year ago.
"Holiday weekend a lot of people will be out traveling so we've had inspectors out last week and this week," said Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith.
Inspectors are checking most vulnerable gas stations which are in high traffic areas and just off the freeway.
Keith said soon as inspectors drive away, the pump is vulnerable again.
"That's why we've been working with local law enforcement and with station owners educating them on this issue, encouraging them to take steps to make sure their pumps are more secure," said Keith.
"I've never had a skimmer here at all ," said Shell Gas Station Owner Rick Ruscin.
Rick Ruscin is taking the advice.
"We check inside the dispensers frequently to make sure we don't see anything that don't belong there. I had a locksmith come out and put very specialized locks in the dispensers so people can't come and use a generic key and open them up and put a skimmer inside.
Keith said one of the best ways to keep your valuable information safe is to use a chip card at gas stations where there's a chip reader.
"It's a smart card so it uses a unique transaction that doesn't have your account number and can't be duplicated and can't be used to access your account in the future," said Keith.
"Oh yeah, I monitor my online banking really closely because of that. I've had a few friends who live elsewhere who've had issues like that," said gas station customer Nicole Orenstein.
"All the auditors across the state are taking this very seriously and have stepped up their efforts to make sure the pumps are secure," said Keith..
Keith said some customers have helped catch skimmers by taking pictures of them in action.
Meanwhile gas stations have been given a three-year extension by the state to have pumps fitted for chip cards since it's expensive to upgrade or replace the pumps.