Police: Suspects using phony credit card to steal thousands in g - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police: Suspects using phony credit card to steal thousands in gas

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This sign was posted at Michelle Phan's gas station in an effort to stop the scammers. This sign was posted at Michelle Phan's gas station in an effort to stop the scammers.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A scam in Sumter is targeting local gas stations. One station owners tells us her business has lost almost $10,000. Police are investigating, but so far, no one's been arrested, and these thieves struck as recently as Sunday.

The scam involves a Bank of America card that is apparently being approved at the pump. Days later when these stations go for reimbursement from credit card purchases, that's when they realize they've been scammed.

According to investigators, the suspects pull up to the pump, swipe the card, sometimes they fill up just one vehicle, other times they fill up several vehicles. Police believe these people are making money by charging the people whose cars they're filling up.

As a small business owner, Monica Phan tries to make sure the customers who fill up at both of her gas stations have a pleasant time at the pump.

But now that work is turning into a battle to stop thieves who are stealing her money.

Phan says the first time she figured out this scam, she couldn't believe it. That was last month when her gas pumps were targeted over night.

"Sixty-seven times in one night in like 4 hours," said Phan. "That was $5,200."

Despite her efforts to try to stop the scammers, hanging up warning signs on the pumps, calling the police, and even shutting down pay at the pump service for three weeks, the thieves keep coming back.

"Mostly they hit us on the weekends," said Phan.

The issues leaves Phan and other station owners with stacks of returned credit card payments. She's worried having to make her customers come in and pay will detour business

"We're losing money every day," said Phan. "We can't just sit there and do nothing."

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