Around a hundred card skimmers were found at gas stations throughout Smith County this year, a problem that Sgt. Craig Halbrooks says many areas are facing
"It's a technology crime,” says Halbrooks. “The more that technology advances, the more that criminals will use that to their advantage. Here in Tyler, it's just one stop on their way across the country."
The sheriff's office says the epidemic requires the attention of all residents and gas station owners, they're hoping to get everyone's attention by placing new decals on gas pumps that read 'These pumps are subject to inspection for card skimmers.'”
“We're hoping to educate the public with these decals. It will remind them to check their bank statements to see if there is any fraudulent activity,” says Halbrooks. “In addition to that, the criminals will see the stickers on the pumps and know we're checking the pumps and we're very, very proactive with that."
Halbrooks says the decals are being placed on gas pumps throughout the county, if approved by the gas station owner, as they are checked. The sheriff’s office checks gas pumps daily.
“It’s important to know that just because there is a sticker there, there may have been a skimming device placed since we checked that pump," says Halbrooks. “Also, just because there's not a sticker there, that doesn’t mean that there is a device on that pump."
Halbrooks says consumers can keep their credit card information secure by checking for a security seal on the pumps, or by paying with cash whenever possible.