State on the lookout for credit card skimmers at gas pumps

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Credit card skimmers at gas pumps - generic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – With the long Memorial Day weekend and summer travel season coming up, Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) inspectors are on the lookout for credit card skimmers in motor fuel pumps across the Commonwealth.

“These devices are used to steal credit card information so criminals can use that data to make purchases that are charged on the victims’ cards,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said in news conferences Monday in Louisville and Lexington. “For the fourth consecutive year, our inspectors will check for skimmers in addition to their normal duties at no additional cost to Kentucky taxpayers.”

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KDA inspectors were involved in a 2017 case that resulted in the arrest of eight people in a credit card skimming scheme in which some 7,000 unique card numbers were compromised in several Louisville-area retail locations.

Under state law, motor fuel pumps must be inspected by KDA personnel once a year. Inspectors test pumps to ensure that the amount of fuel dispensed matches the amount shown on the pump, and check to make sure each pump is in proper working order.

Commissioner Quarles advised motorists to be on the lookout for evidence that a motor fuel pump has been compromised. Signs of tampering include scratches or other damage around locks or doors, components that look different from the rest of the device or from other pumps (such as a skimmer placed over a card reader), a loose card reader, and security tape that is broken or does not adhere to the pump.

Authorities suggest filling up your vehicle at a pump as close to the attendant station as possible – thieves often place skimmers in pumps out of sight of the attendant. Motorists may avoid the risk by paying in cash.

Consumers who find evidence that a pump has been tampered with are advised to bring it to the attention to the retailer and local law enforcement. To report possible tampering to the KDA, call (502) 573-0282 or email ag.web@ky.gov. Please include the retailer’s name and location, the pump number, and the fuel grade.

The National Association for Convenience Stores says a single compromised pump can capture data from 30 to 100 cards per day.

 

 

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.