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June 09, 2011

  • News:  Suffolk Gas Station Card Fraud 

    A gas station in Suffolk, Virginia has recently been linked to credit card fraud and the number of victims is growing by the day. A Murphy Oil Service station on Main Street had a good deal on gas and was attracting extra customers based on the cheap gas. Unfortunately, the gas savings were cancelled out thanks to the actions of credit card thieves. Over 100 people in Virginia and North Carolina have reported unusual charges on their debit and credit cards after filling up at the Suffolk gas station. Suffolk City Spokesperson, Debbie George, said the investigators don't know for sure the fraud happened at the gas station, but they cannot ignore the growing number of victims linked to the gas station. Murphy Oil spokesperson, Jay Staggs, said they have checked the card readers repeatedly and have not found any fraudulent devices at their pumps.

    Police believe the information was stolen by using an illegal device called a skimmer. The skimmer can be installed on a pump card reader where the customer inserts their credit card to pay. When a card is skimmed, the information can be accessed and in debit card cases, the criminals sometimes have a way to capture a PIN that is entered. Victims reported withdrawals from locations in California. One theory is that thieves gathered the information from debit and credit cards and then cloned the cards to use at ATMs in California.

    Local police have contacted the FBI, Secret Service as well as law enforcement in California and continue to work on this case to determine exactly what happened. Authorities suggest a few things for customers to do so they can hopefully avoid such fraud. First, do a quick inspection of the debit/credit card machine before swiping your card. If anything looks out of place or loose or if there are any exposed wires, notify the bank or the gas station immediately. Additionally, when entering a PIN, use your hand to shield the keypad. Finally, check accounts regularly and contact the bank if there is any suspicious activity.

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