Law enforcement agencies take credit card skimming seriously. This is a form of credit card theft that involves stealing another person's credit card information by placing a small device -- a skimmer -- on a credit/debit card reader. Most people outside of law enforcement can't spot a skimmer.
Once a skimmer is in place, when someone inserts or swipes their card, the information in the card's magnetic stripe is saved. It can then be used to create a counterfeit card or to make online purchases.
The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) recently announced a rare arrest for credit card skimming that they say occurred at a Circle K gas station on Huebner Road. It took some time to apprehend a suspect.
The SAPD says it found the skimmer on a pay terminal at the gas station back in September of last year and sent it in for DNA testing. Police say that in January, they learned that the DNA matched that of a 31-year-old man whom they verified did not work at the gas station or the company that services the gas pumps. The man has been charged with possessing of a criminal instrument and unlawfully using an electronic device.
Finding skimmers is considerably easier for law enforcement than identifying those involved in the crime. Last year, the SAPD found 235 skimmers. In the first two months of this year, they found 36 skimmers at various San Antonio gas stations.
However, a lieutenant with the SAPD says that his department doesn't make as many arrests as they'd like. He explains, "They're tough cases to make. Catching them (installing skimmers) in real-time is hard, and video is either nonexistent or lousy."
Both the Secret Service and the Federal Trade Commission, along with local law enforcement agencies, are involved in fighting credit card skimming. Therefore, the consequences of a conviction can be serious. If you or a loved one is facing credit skimming or other credit card fraud charges, it's wise to seek experienced legal guidance.