Kentucky Department of Agriculture takes aim at gas skimmer scam - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Department of Agriculture takes aim at gas skimmer scams

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is cracking down on credit card skimming scams across the state.

For the first time ever, inspectors who normally check gas pumps to check their compliance for gas quality and quantity will now be looking for credit card skimmers as well.

“If it looks like the credit card machine has been altered, if the doors have been pried open, if a security tape has been breached, please notify the gas station attendant,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said.

There are more than 60,000 gas pumps spread out across the Commonwealth. Fifteen inspectors are in charge of opening all of those pumps and looking inside and outside to check for the skimming devices.

“We started months ago cross-training our gas inspectors with law enforcement agencies that are trained to know about this sort of theft,” Quarles said.

Card skimmers can be installed in a matter of seconds to gather credit card information from unsuspecting drivers.

“What happens is a victim is getting their credit being used, but they're not exactly sure where their data was found,” said LMPD sergeant Pat Bass.

Some devices can collect more than 500 different cards.

Some of the more advanced devices are Bluetooth enabled, and the stolen information can be accessed remotely.

“The person does not have to retrieve the device, they can have a laptop down the street, and as the card is being run, they're able to pull the numbers off the card,” Bass said.

Quarles and law enforcement recommend checking the seals on the outer edges of the pump. If those are broken or tampered with, notify the gas station attendant.

Inspections began in May and will continue for however long it takes to open and check all 60,000 pumps across the state. 

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