MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – Miami Valley drivers can breathe more easily at the pumps this Memorial Day weekend. The Montgomery County Auditor says inspectors found no credit card skimmers during an annual sweep of the region.
“The criminal element probably know that we are paying more attention to this, spending more time looking for these things. They know local law enforcement is taking this more seriously,” Auditor Karl Keith said during an announcement in Moraine Friday.
In Montgomery County, weights and measures inspectors checked more than 840 pumps across at least 100 gas stations. It was part of similar efforts throughout seven southwest Ohio counties. None of the inspectors found a single skimmer.
The findings come a year after the same region accounted for more than half of the skimmers found statewide. During a single day in a 2018 sweep, Montgomery County discovered five of the devices hidden in pumps.
Keith credits the decline to improved knowledge and changes made by the region’s gas stations.
Fat Daddy’s RoadDog, a Marathon station in Moraine, said it’s never found a skimmer and checks regularly.
“Either when they’re doing the morning checklist or again when they’re coming out to change a roll of paper, we’re constantly looking to make sure that nothing has been put on our pumps that’s not supposed to be on our pumps,” said Barbie Alderson, the station manager.
Keith said in addition to routine checks, gas stations should also invest in station-specific locks for each pump because factory standard locks can be opened with a universal key.
Tamper-prove security labels can also show if anyone has tried to open a pump. Keith also said good surveillance cameras can help catch identity theft suspects in the act.
For customers to protect themselves, the auditor recommends paying inside if possible, and never using a debit card at the pump because thieves could access account information as well as a pin number.
You can find answers to frequently asked questions and see specifics about Montgomery County’s efforts to stop credit card skimmers by clicking here.