LANSING, MI – On Saturday, March 19, 2016, state and federal regulators and various law enforcement agencies conducted a full-scale gas pump blitz across Michigan as part of the ongoing efforts to crackdown on consumer credit card information being hacked by credit card skimmers.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which coordinated the blitz, partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Michigan State Police, Clinton County, Eaton County, Ingham County, Ionia County, Kalamazoo County, Kent County, Saginaw County, and Washtenaw County Sheriff’s offices, Brighton, Davison Township, Howell, Northfield Township, Pinckney and Unadilla Township police departments, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
During Saturday’s blitz, which took officials from Grand Rapids to Saginaw to Lansing to the U.P. to Detroit and Traverse City, three credit card skimming devices were removed and confiscated and more than 3,000 pumps were checked. The devices are turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Skimming devices were found at:
• Mugg & Bopps South, 763 S. Michigan Ave., Howell
• Mobil, 921 E. Grand River Ave., Howell
• Citgo, 4010 17 Mile Rd NE, Cedar Springs
“These blitzes make it clear to these cyber-criminals we’re actively looking for skimming devices – not just during the traditional work week – but on weekends too,” said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director. “Credit card skimmers will not be tolerated and Michigan’s Weights and Measures inspectors, gas station owners, and law enforcement will continue to be on the hunt for skimmers to protect the state’s consumers from fraud.”
Credit card skimmers can’t be seen from outside the pump. Criminals use keys to quickly open the pumps, insert the skimmers and leave. Skimmers can be installed in seconds. The skimmers then make a copy of the consumer’s card information for criminals to make fraudulent purchases.
“Some steps station owners can take to protect their patrons are changing locks, using tamper-proof security tape, and adding security cameras. Additionally, owners should also be increasing their dispenser inspections, and be more aware of these attacks,” said Clover Adams.
If you want to learn how inspectors look for credit card skimmers, watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50i67kufCTs