Skimmer found at Effingham County gas station - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Skimmer found at Effingham County gas station

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A skimmer found in Effingham County has deputies and businesses on alert.

"The sheriff's office found a skimmer just like this one inside of an Effingham County gas pump," said investigator Bobby McQuaig. "Now they are warning residents to take extra precautions when using the pump."

It was during a routine pump inspection when a maintenance person found someone had tampered with a pump.

"Part of the pump was damaged with a hole the size of a pencil eraser," said McQuaig. "All that did is allow them to pry the door open on the door to insert the device inside of it."

According to the Effingham County Sheriff's Office, the name of the gas station is being withheld because it could compromise the investigation that is ongoing.

They located the device that had the personal information on it before the offender could retrieve the information or the device.

The crooks used what's known as a skimmer, which is hidden inside the gas pump and almost always goes unnoticed.

"There is no way of knowing really when you run your debit card or credit card," he said. "What this thing has done is designed to capture all of the information that comes in, then it can be sold to other people."

One thing you can do to protect yourself is if to check for anti-tamper stickers near the keypad.

"A lot of the gas stations use the anti-tamper stickers, and you can see if it was cut or tampered with," he said.

The sheriff's office is also asking the gas stations to add extras security to protect their customers.

"They usually put it on the outer most pumps where cameras usually don't hit," McQuaig said. "We we have asked the gas station to add more cameras to make it more visible."

Investigators are also trying to access the skimmer to see what information was collected and if it was retrieved by the crooks.

The Effingham County Sheriff's Office warns residents to check their account to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.

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