Sheriff warns of constant credit card skimming problem in Lonoke Co.

Skimmers are becoming such a problem in Lonoke County, the sheriff says it's time for drivers to take matters into their own hands.

Skimmers.

It's a word you probably never heard of until a couple of years ago, but the skimming equipment in Lonoke County is causing such a headache for drivers that police are suggesting a non-traditional solution.

Scammers have put the devices on credit card readers at gas stations and ATMs all across the county in hopes of getting your banking information.

"It started off small, now it has become such a big problem, we are just trying to figure out what we can do,” said Lieutenant Matt Edwards of the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office.

Edwards said deputies are investigating several reports of card skimming in the county.

The problem is, there's not much you can do.

You'd think gas station employees would be keeping an eye out for the devices, and many probably are, but when we reached out to the Arkansas Oil Marketers Association, they said they don't issue any advice industry-wide.

So how does skimming work?

Once the criminal has gotten a copy of your data, they will then use your bank or credit card information to make their own purchases.

"It has become such a problem, we are urging people just to go inside because it is just safer that way,” Edwards said.

Obadiah Myers, a Texas native driving through Arkansas, said the bordering state has more precautions in place to protect drivers.

"In Texas, we have a tape that seals that and then there's a device that tells you when you insert your card, if it is secure or not," said Douglas Myers, the father of Obadiah.

It becomes difficult to catch these criminals because they usually drift in and out of town before you know what has happened. Both Cabot and Lonoke County deputies are investigating fraud cases associated with skimmers, but haven’t been able to catch someone in the act.

The Attorney General’s Office offers a list of tips on how to avoid being a victim of skimming. You can visit the list by clicking here.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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