Ocean City Today

Gas pumps targeted by skimmers

By Katie Tabeling | Jul 27, 2017
Courtesy of: OCPD Skimmers, pictured here, have been found inside Worcester County gas pumps.

(July 28, 2017) Ocean City Police and the Worcester County Sheriff’s office, with the assistance of federal authorities, continue to investigate three credit card skimming operations in the county.

Two suspects were found at Ocean City gas pumps on July 13 at the Sunoco on 129th Street and the Ocean City Market at 142nd Street. Ocean City Police Department Public Information Specialist Lindsay Richard said they could not reveal the suspects, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation Ohio and Baltimore offices are leading the regional investigation.

Lt. Ed Schreier of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that one skimming operation was uncovered at the Exxon on Market Street in Pocomoke. No arrest has been made in that case.

“We’re encouraging vendors to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious. In typical cases, the general public could see them [card readers] placed on the readers, but now we’re seeing them placed inside the pumps,” Schreier said.

Skimmers typically target gas stations that aren’t open 24 hours a day, have poor lighting at night and lack surveillance cameras. Richard added that older pumps would also be appealing to the skimmers.

“Newer gas pumps have more safety measures built in to prevent this from occurring,” she said. “Business owners are encouraged to periodically check the inside of their pumps to make sure that everything seems to be in order. If anything looks suspicious, the business owner should not touch anything inside, close the pump, and call local police immediately.”

After Ocean City Police uncovered the two skimming devices, detectives went to every other gas station in town to ensure there weren’t any additional undiscovered operations.

Police are trying to determine the scale of the scam, although officials admit it’s difficult for people to avoid falling victim to these skimming devices because of their clandestine installation.

“The public can keep an eye on their financial accounts for any suspicious charges and report them to local police department,” Schreier said. “We’re following every angle with the County Bureau of Investigation … but technology changes every second.”


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