Agriculture commissioner tackles gas pump card skimming

Agriculture Commissioner tackles gas pump card skimming

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The state agriculture commissioner cracks down on criminals trying to steal your credit card information at gas pumps. He is launching an all-out attack that includes the Secret Service.

"We're talking about electronic fraud, and the punishment is severe," said Commissioner Mike Strain as he opened a gas pump in Baton Rouge.

He announced that he's calling on the Secret Service to help catch criminals who put skimming devices on pumps. He says investigators have done sweeps at more than 300 stations along the I-10 corridor.

Danny and Clyde's in Harahan found one of the skimmers before crooks could get the information. They do regular checks at the pumps.

"We've doubled our efforts," said manager Steve Duperret. "We started doing it every shift outside and inside.

Strain said one of the problems with skimmer schemes is that the keys used to get into the pump cabinets are often universal. If you get your hands on one, it's an easy mark.

Danny and Clyde's owner Chris Rittiner says magnetic numbered tape on their pumps is a deterrent. If someone opens the cabinet door they know they've been inside.

"When it gets pulled off instead of reading the number it says void," he said.

Rittiner says by next October, all pumps will be required to accept credit cards with computerized chips instead of magnetic strips. He says that should end the worry of skimming.

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