Skimming devices found on Tri-State gas pumps - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Skimming devices found on Tri-State gas pumps

(PHOTO: FOX19 NOW) (PHOTO: FOX19 NOW)
FOREST PARK, OH (FOX19) -

While gas prices fall, crooks are taking advantage.

Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes says a 'skimming' device was found attached to the inside of a pump at a Forest Park gas station on Thursday.

It was found at the Marathon station on Smiley Avenue by inspectors Thursday morning.

"We had been looking for these for the last couple of months because they were up north of here," Rhodes said.  

Police in Forest Park have the skimmer that was found, and are investigating, according to Rhodes.

TIPS: How to spot ATM skimming devices

This is not the first crime of this type in the area lately.  In the last few weeks, skimming devices were found at two different gas stations near Union Centre Boulevard in Butler County. 

In October, other skimming devices were found on ATM at truck stops along I-71 in Fayette County

Rhodes says there may be 30 people, usually working in a group of three, hitting gas stations around the area.  He says the group may be operating out of Louisville.  He told FOX19 NOW of a suspect who was busted in Columbus said the practice brought in more than $120,000 a month.

"They come in with, usually, a couple of U-Haul trucks, or something like that, and they'll block what they're doing, and they'll come in and just hit the thing, throw the skimmer in - it takes about three minutes - drive about two blocks away, and sit there and take down numbers for a couple of hours," Rhodes said.

From there, Rhodes said, the criminals usually end up buying gift cards with the stolen cash.

"There's no way for a consumer to really tell one of these things is on the gas pump," Rhodes told FOX19 NOW.  "The best way to protect yourself is to either pay inside or use cash."

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