GREENVILLE, SC – A quick stop at the pump could cost you hundreds of dollars.
According to Greenville Police, card skimmers have popped up at several gas stations and ATM’s in the area and investigators believe a skimming ring is to blame.
“We’ve had a number of victims,” said Lieutenant Jason Rampey.
Investigators with Greenville PD told 7 News Wednesday that more than 150 victims have come forward in the past month.
Lt. Rampey explained that they’ve been receiving calls from gas station employees who found the devices, as well as banks which have reported dozens of people having their credit or debit card information stolen.
One local bank reported about $21 thousand dollars withdrawn illegally from their customers, according to investigators.
“Sometimes it’s debit card information and that’s usually the ones that hurt the most because it’s taking the money out of your account,” said Lt. Rampey.
So who’s behind draining these accounts?
Police believe it’s an organized skimming ring passing through the city.
“We think it’s a group of individuals, an organized group. And it’s not just something they do locally in Greenville. It’s something they do up and down the Southeast coast.”
Police assure the public there are ways to protect yourself, if you know what to look for.
Officers say often times fake numbers are placed on top of real ones on ATM’s and gas pumps, so when people type on them, the information is collected and stored.
Police explained if the number keys appear loose, be suspicious.
Other devices include small cameras that watch a person type-in card information from above, like pin numbers.
Unfortunately not all skimmers are visible. Some, as Lt. Rampey explained, are wired inside the pump and act as a thumb-drive, collecting and storing your card information.
If tape on the pump has been peeled back, Police warn not to use it.
“You can access that panel and insert that device in 30 seconds.”
Greenville Police confirmed at least one arrest has been made, directly linked to the skimming ring.