70 credit card skimmers found at Michigan gas stations - WNEM TV 5

70 credit card skimmers found at Michigan gas stations

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LANSING, MI (WNEM/AP) -

About 70 credit card skimmers have been found at Michigan gas stations since the first device was discovered more than a year ago.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which inspects pumps, said Thursday the skimmers can be installed in seconds and cannot be seen from outside the pump.

Criminals open pumps with keys and use the device to copy motorists' credit card information and buy things fraudulently.

Gas station owners can change locks, install security cameras and use tamper-proof security tape to thwart the installation of skimmers.

Jamie Clover Adams, who leads the agricultural agency, encourages station owners to also increase their regular dispenser inspections.

Below is a list of the 68 skimmers that have been found across the state. In red are the stations in Mid-Michigan.

State officials report since the skimmers were discovered, the stations have taken action to remove the devices, and in some cases have even helped officials develope ways to keep thieves from placing more.

Below is a video of how state inspectors look for skimmers at the pump.

"They said I would get my money back, but they didn't know when," said Sally Graverette, Saginaw resident.

A thief drained her bank account without her even knowing it.

"It was awful because I had just gotten paid and I knew I had money," Graverette said.

She said her bank worked with police to discover it was from a skimmer at a gas pump. The device captured her debit card information and someone used that information to make fraudulent charges.

Four the skimmers were found in Mid-Michigan in Grand Blanc, Owosso, Harrison and Flint.

"They tend to target gas stations that have easy access to an expressway," said Sgt. Jim Lang, with the Michigan State Police.

Lang said people need to be their own first line of defense against the devices.

"Try and use the pumps that are closer to the clerk. They tend to target the pumps that are further away or out of clear view of the clerk," Lang said.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press/WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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