Thomas County investigators seize card skimmers at Ochlockonee gas stations

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 9, 2019

THOMAS CO., Ga. (WCTV) -- Thomas County deputies are warning residents after two card skimmers that were discovered in Ochlockonee on Monday.

TCSO seized the skimmers at the T & J Country Store on Dollar Store Road and the Liberty gas station on U.S. Highway 19.

"We have no idea of knowing how long those scammers have been in place on those pumps," said Tim Watkins, a TCSO investigator.

He says it's a skimming device you can't see until it's too late.

The devices are no longer just placed in plain sight, but also remain hidden and take only minutes to install.

Thought small, they say the skimmers can easily hold the financial information of hundreds.

The ones in Oclockonee were found behind two closed panels at the gas pump by an inspector with the Department of Agriculture.

"He was inspecting the accuracy of the pumps themselves to make sure customers are not being cheated and when he opened up the pumps, he discovered the skimmers were in there," said Watkins.

He says the skimmers are now also Bluetooth. In past cases, they've been linked to criminals all the way in South Florida.

TCSO advises store owners to routinely check all pumps. They also encourage customers to swipe using credit to help better protect information, such as your passcode.

At this time, investigators are fingerprinting the skimmers. Next, they will send them off to Secret Service, who will access the stolen information.

Anyone who believes they might be a victim to these skimmers should call the Thomas County Sheriff's Office.

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