Credit, debit card users warned of gas pump skimmers

by: John Bachman Updated:

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ATLANTA -  

Authorities advise drivers to be on the lookout for skimmers targeting credit and debit card users at gas pumps.

Officers found a skimmer inside a gas station pump at northwest Atlanta's RaceTrac on Marietta Boulevard and Bolton Road.

 Investigators told Channel 2’s John Bachman the recent finding is all part of a much bigger problem.

Investigators from several agencies, including the Secret Service, said skimmers are linked to a major criminal network.

Customer Martha Ruth said, "That makes me feel real bad. From now on I just get cash and then get my gas. Keep my card in my pocket."

Secret Service agents are now investigating the Atlanta credit card skimming case, saying it goes beyond Atlanta, even Georgia. In Coweta County, investigators said they're investigating dozens of similar cases at this Newnan RaceTrac.

Nearly 100 victims have come forward in Coweta since late last month. Investigators said thieves put skimmers inside the pump to steal customers’ information, then send the data to New York, and use it to make fake credit and debit cards.

"No way to tell by looking at the pump. Only way is to open pump and still wouldn't know unless you're a technician." Coweta County Sheriff's Office investigator Jason Fetner is confident the case in Atlanta is connected to his cases. He said the skimmer found in Atlanta was numbered just like the two he found in Coweta.

"We got No.s 7 and 8. They got No. 2, so who knows where the others are at," Fetner said.

Investigator Fetner said the best way people can protect themselves is to pay inside.

 He also said this can happen at any gas station.

 As for RaceTrac, the company issued a statement Wednesday, saying in part, that they've upgraded the card reader technology at those pumps. A worker also said they're physically checking the pumps three times a day.