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State inspectors find credit card skimmers at two Kent County gas stations

Posted at 2:27 PM, Sep 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-03 14:27:58-04

LANSING, Mich. – Inspectors with the  Michigan Department of Weights and Measures is currently combing the state’s gas stations looking for credit card skimmers.

One skimmer was found in the last couple of days at the Admiral station in the 4200 block of Kalamazoo SE in Grand Rapids, and one was found at the Marathon station on 64th Street SE in Alto.  One was found at a station in Dowagiac last week.  There were rumors of skimmers found in Ionia, but that proved to not be true.

Credit card skimmers are devices that criminals place on credit card points of sales that record credit card numbers.  After the cards are collected, the criminals remove the skimmers and use the numbers.

Jennifer Holton, spokesperson for the department, tells FOX 17 that nine of the department’s 14 inspectors are currently on the search after reports of skimmers were received earlier this week.

“These skimming devices are located on the inside of the pump,” said Holton. “They are not visible to the consumer from the outside. In some cases, they are being found by some of the service companies that a station might hire to make sure that their pumps are running at top notch.”

“They have been in a couple of different areas in west Michigan, so we are stepping up our efforts and our inspection efforts to be looking for credit card skimming devices,” said Holton.

Holton says that the inspectors can inspect a pump in about 10 minutes and are averaging 700 to 1,000 pump inspections per day.

Consumer Reports recommends using selecting credit instead of debit at gas pumps to avoid using your PIN and to allow you to dispute fraudulent credit card charges on your card.