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Gas card skimmer found in Groves

GROVES — Police in Groves are investigating another case where a credit card skimmer was found in their city.

The skimmer was found on a gas pump in the 4500 block of Twin City Highway on March 28. There were also reports of skimmers found on March 18 and Feb. 28.

Groves City Marshal Norman Reynolds Jr. said since May 2018 there have been 13 active cases, which have been between this location and a store at 32nd Street and Taft Avenue. And while he doesn’t know the exact reasoning, he believes it is because it is due to the style or model of gas pump since these are the only locations in Groves where this has occurred.

It’s not always easy to detect a card skimmer; some say you can pull and see if the device where the card is inserted is removable but the thieves have become savvier.

“Unfortunately, they sometimes pull the cover off and put a strip in,” Reynolds said of the ribbon looking devices that are placed inside the pump and directly scan the credit card.

Reynolds said there has been a case where the suspect was caught in the act of placing a skimmer on a gas pump.

The only reason the person was caught, he said, was because an officer was driving by patrolling when the suspect was doing it. An arrest was made but details are not available and the case remains under investigation.

The Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller addressed the issue with a video in 2017 showing what to look for. The TDA is responsible for inspecting all gas pumps in the state for accuracy and fuel quality, according to the website, and Miller has “made it a priority for TDA inspectors to also check for the illegal skimming devices.”

“In Texas, we don’t tolerate cattle rustlers, horse thieves or cheats,” Commissioner Miller said. “At the Texas Department of Agriculture, we’re going to do everything we can to protect law-abiding Texans’ personal information at the gas pump,” Miller said on the website.

Reynolds said the best way to avoid the scam is to use cash when getting gas.

 

To see the Texas Department of Agriculture video click here: