How do you know if you are a victim of identity theft?
Customers of the Valero gas station in Oakhurst who pay at the pump may have fallen victim to a credit card fraud scheme, according to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators removed four skimmers from gas pumps at the station. Skimmers are devices installed inside gas pumps — making them difficult to detect from the outside — that allow the installer to steal credit card information.
The investigation was launched April 16, when the Sheriff’s Office received several calls in Oakhurst regarding fraudulent credit card activity.
As of Wednesday, there were 35 identified victims. Much of the fraudulent activity linked to their cards were purchases made in Southern California.
“We would like to remind citizens that the best way to avoid becoming a victim of these types of scams is to pay inside at the cash register, rather than at the pump,” deputies said in a news release. “Though it may not be as convenient, the extra few minutes it takes to walk inside will certainly be less time consuming than having to work with your bank to change your card information and recover stolen funds in the event of fraudulent activity.”
The sheriff’s office initially believed Vons Gas was linked to the case, but did not find any skimmers.