Police Warn Of Skimmer Scammers Targeting OKC Area

Tuesday, August 1st 2017, 2:26 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Police are seeing an increase in skimmer scammers in the area. 

Skimmers are tiny devices that thieves attach to credit card readers to steal information.  The devices are so tiny, you probably won't even notice them unless you're looking for them. 

Sandra Fuentes of Moore admitted, she should have known better. 

"I was watching Channel 9 News and I saw that they had got some guys with the skimmer on the gas stations,” Fuentes said. “And I know in our business we travel all around and my husband uses the card all over for gas. So, it was something I had in the back of my mind and sure enough Saturday they called us."

"They," being her bank. "And, they're like have you guys been going to Walmart several times, you know? Cause we have these charges, you know?"

Fuentes hadn't shopped at Walmart though. She and her husband became the latest local victims of skimming. 

In the past few weeks, skimmers have been found in Edmond and Norman. Thieves attach the battery devices on card readers.  

"It's recording all your information,” said Sgt. Jeremy Lewis of the Moore Police Department. “They later will come and get their device and then they're able to make credit cards and then they take your money."

Lewis said catching these sophisticated thieves is tough. "They travel a whole lot just to try to stay ahead. We'll get hit with a lot here. Well, they're gone. They're in another state by then. So, that's the problem with trying to catch them."

The best way to protect yourself is try to only use card readers indoors. If you have to use them outside, shake the reader first. If a skimmer is attached to the outside, generally it will fall off. Finally, regularly check your accounts to make sure there aren't any unauthorized charges.

Fuentes lost a few hundred bucks because of these skimmer scammers, and that makes her mad. 

"Yes. Yes, it does,” Fuentes explained. “Because these people are so smart. They're very bright and if they were to use that intelligence for something productive they could be very successful, very rich, without ripping off people who work hard for their money."