Police say thieves targeted Austin, Indiana, gas station with sk - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police say thieves targeted Austin, Indiana, gas station with skimmer because of price, location

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Police say a skimming device was found on one of the pumps Fuel Mart Truck Stop in Austin, Ind. on May 9, 2017. Police say a skimming device was found on one of the pumps Fuel Mart Truck Stop in Austin, Ind. on May 9, 2017.
A spokesman for Indiana State Police says thieves are now able to better conceal skimming devices. A spokesman for Indiana State Police says thieves are now able to better conceal skimming devices.

AUSTIN, Ind. (WDRB) -- Drivers in Austin thought they were getting a break on gas prices, but Indiana State Police said some got taken for a ride by a skimming device found on one of the pumps. 

Skimmers rip debit or credit account information from the strip on the back of a card without a customer even knowing. Thieves use the information for spending sprees, often times buying online. 

"(Thieves) learned a new tactic, so what they're doing is traveling up and down the interstate, and they're looking for gas stations right beside the interstate system that have the cheapest gas," Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin said.

The skimming device was discovered on pump three on May 9 at the Fuel Mart Truck Stop in Austin just off exit 34 of Interstate 65, where unleaded gas was priced at $1.78 a gallon. 

"Now the skimmers are getting more sophisticated," Goodin said. "They're actually going into the actual gas pumps and leaving the skimmer on there. They're doing damage to the pump to put their skimmer on."

The price at the pump attracted drivers from miles away, like Missy Collins.

"It's $2.35 in Brownstown and $1.78 here so yes ... great big savings," she said.

She put $40 in a 15-passenger van and got 22 gallons of unleaded gas, but Collins opted to pay inside, having heard of the skimmer problem at the pump.

"There's been a lot of incidents within Scott County and Jackson County," Collins said. "You just got to play it smart."

Detectives are not sure how long the skimmer was in place at the Fuel Mart but said it was at least since May 1.

Goodin wants asking anyone who bought gas at that truck stop to check their bank and credit card accounts. 

"We know we've got some people who don't even know they're a victim," he said.

If you feel you've been a victim, cancel the card and contact your banking institution along with the Indiana State Police post in Sellersburg. That number is 812-246-5424

So far, there are no arrests in the skimmer scam case. 

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