Identify theft has become a nationwide problem in our credit card economy. One of the most common methods of stealing a person’s personal and banking information is the installation of a skimmer device on a credit card reader. The skimmer copies the card holder’s account information and then downloads the information onto a computer controlled by the intended thief.
Two men were recently arrested and charged with placing skimmers on three gas station pumps in Okawville. The skimmer was discovered by a maintenance worker who had been called to repair the pump. Police next reviewed the station’s surveillance videos, where they saw images that allegedly showed the suspects installing the skimmers. The assistant manager of the gas station noticed the car used by the suspects when it returned to the station a few days later. Police were notified, and the two suspects were arrested.
The two men appear to be Cuban, and each of them had an interpreter when they appeared at their bond hearings. They have each been charged with unlawful use of a scanning device, identity theft and using a forged debit or credit card. Police were quick to note that the skimmer had been removed before it could be used for its intended purpose.
As the use of skimmers becomes more frequent, police will be increasing their vigilance for such devices. Anyone who is charged with using a skimmer or with any other form of identity theft may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice on possible defense strategies and the negotiation of a favorable plea agreement.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “Men placed skimmer device on Okawville gas station pump, police say,” Mary Cooley and Kaley Johnson, March 28, 2018