WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A recent arrest made by Winston-Salem police shows that – not only are criminals still after your card information at the pump – but they are traveling great lengths to get it.
“My wife just had her card skimmed before from the pump, so it’s definitely a concern,” said Dustin Foley, who said that he always goes to the register to pay for gas.
Warrants show that police arrested two men on Monday while they were trying to use cloned or other cards to take money out of a local ATM.
The warrants identify the men as 32-year-old Erlian Roman Gonzalez Arias and 40-year-old Pedro Poli Sainz. Detectives say the men targeted gas pumps in Winston-Salem, Raleigh and Cary.
However, warrants show that the men are residents of Miami, Florida.
“Tale as old as time, criminals keep finding ways to commit crimes. Law gets wise to one thing, you find something else,” Foley said. “People are always going to look for a way to make an easy buck.”
Detectives add that the men were able to gain access to the inside of the pump, where they were able to place a skimmer.
“It’s a pain in the neck. You’re calling the bank, you’re calling your credit card company,” Foley said. “Trying to figure out why someone spent $500 in Texas when you live half the country away.”
Police suggest checking the security strip on the gas pumps before you slide your card. If the strip has been broken, the pump may have been tampered with.
They add that another option is to pay inside.
“I always go inside,” said Winston-Salem resident Tiffaney Pitts, who said that she has also had her card information stolen in the past. “Because things like this happen and I just like to go inside and pay to make sure it’s done and over with.”
Police say that people should frequently check their bank statements to stop any fraudulent activity.
Police say Arias and Sainz are both facing a charge of possession of a counterfeit instrument and four counts of obtaining property by false pretense.