Commerce Department Finds 9 Credit Card Skimmers In Statewide Sweep
During a statewide sweep of gas pumps, the Minnesota Commerce Department uncovered nine credit card skimmers, many of which were found along Interstates 90 and 35.
The search for credit card skimmers—or devices that secretly record credit and debit card information—was prompted after police discovered the devices hidden on pumps in Bloomington and Robbinsdale.
Commerce Department spokesperson Ross Corson said the nine skimmers found by the state could be part of a multi-state criminal ring. In the case of the Bloomington skimmer found in January, the three men arrested for inserting the skimmer were from Kentucky.
“We cannot give out the specific locations [of the skimmers] due to ongoing criminal investigations,” Corson said. “But I can say that as part of the sweep one of the priorities was inspecting stations with older pumps that were easier to break into, and we did find skimmers in some of those pumps.”
The Commerce Department officially announced the first-ever statewide inspection for the devices last month. During the three-week period, inspectors and investigators checked the credit card readers on roughly 8,500 gas pumps at over 1,000 stations across the state.
As part of the Commerce Department’s continuing gas pump inspections—which Corson said regularly occur on a 12 to 18 month basis—its Weights and Measures division will add signs of tampering to its inspection checklist.
“The Commerce Department is cracking down on these skimmers to protect Minnesota consumers against identity theft and fraud,” said Mike Rothman, commissioner of the Commerce Department. “We know the threat is real, so we will stay vigilant and continue checking for these devices in our ongoing inspections of gas pumps.”