GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Green Bay Police investigating credit card skimmers in our area say they’ve found a device on a pump at another gas station, and they believe there could be more of them out there.
Officers did not immediately identify the station where they found the skimmer. They did say it was on the east side.
This news comes a couple of days after the arrest of two men accused of placing a skimmer device at a Shell station at 1146 W. Mason Street.
Skimmers are devices placed on gas pumps that capture information when people swipe their credit or debit cards at the pump.
These devices are usually placed inside a locked portion of the pump so customers don’t notice them.
Victims don’t learn they’ve been scammed until they receive their bank or credit card statement.
Police say they’ve also found that suspects are using pinhole cameras to record video of consumers typing their personal identification numbers (PIN) on the pump keypad. The cameras are being mounted in a way that they blend in with the gas pumps, police say.
“The color is pretty similar to the color that the gas pump device itself is, and they even went so far to bevel the edges of it so that it fits the contour of that gas pump,” Capt. Jeremy Muraski, Green Bay Police Department, explained.
“They could see the time that they plugged in those PIN numbers go look from the data from here and then see the name and then associate those two together,” Muraski explained.
“The customer is able to purchase their gas. They don’t know that anything has happened until some point they realize there are fraudulent transactions out of their account,” he added.
The Green Bay Police Department has these tips for people who pay at the pump:
- Closely monitor your bank account transactions and report fraudulent activity to your banking institution in a timely manner
- Pay inside the gas station
- Purchase gas station gift cards in smaller denominations and use those for pay at the pump transactions
- Be on the lookout for items that do not appear to belong on the gas pump and report them to the station staff
- Avoid using gas pumps with no tamper evident sticker
- Cover your PIN entry with your other hand at all pumps, ATMs or store registers
The suspects in the Shell station skimming operation, Orlando Romero-Santaella and Leonardo Jose Chacin-Paredes, both appeared in Brown County court on Wednesday afternoon. Bond for Romero-Santaella was set at $50,000. Bond for Chacin-Paredes was set at $25,000.
Dozens of skimmers have been found in the southern part of the state as well. While police don’t know yet if these are connected, they warn there could be more in our area.
“At this point we don’t know if there are others operating in the area or if this is related to other similar activities that are going on around the state,” Muraski said.
Police are now contacting known victims. If you think you may be a victim, you should contact police and keep a close eye on your financial accounts. Police acknowledge right now they’re not sure how many victims there could be.