Howard County Police issued a warning to consumers that skimmers have been found at various gas stations in the county.
Two Florida men were arrested in connected with installing a skimmer at an Ellicott City gas station. The skimming device is installed on a gas pump or ATM to collect information from debit and credit cards. Consumers typically do not find out that their information was stolen until they receive an overdraft notice or bank statement.
The improvements in skimmer technology have made it easier prevent detection. The devices are very compact and can be concealed inside a gas pump.
Howard County Police arrested 29-year-old Frank Alvarez Rodriguez and 51-year-old Mario Eduardo Castro Ramirez, both of Miami, Florida for posses of counterfeit credit card materials and a skimming device.
On August 9, employee spotted the men installing a skimmer inside a pump at the Exxon station in the 4200 block of Montgomery Road. Both men were released on bonds, police said. There have been six skimming arrests in the county this year.
Drivers are urged to look for signs of tampering and skimming devices at gas pumps and ATMs.
Skimming devices have been found at the following locations:
January 16 – Shell in the 6200 block of Washington Boulevard in Elkridge
January 23 – BP in the 5800 block of Washington Boulevard in Laurel
February 4- Hess in the 6300 block of Washington Boulevard in Elkridge
March 1 – Sleep Inn in the 10100 block of North 2nd Street in Laurel
March 2 and June 26 – Exxon in the 8200 block of Snowden River Parkway in Columbia
April 29 – Tower ATM in the 9000 block of Snowden River Parkway in Columbia
May 2, May 17 and August 2 – Exxon in the 8800 block of Centre Park Drive in Columbia
May 24 – Turf Valley in the 2700 block of Turf Valley Road in Ellicott City
June 9, August 10 and 12 – Exxon in the 4200 block of Montgomery Road in Ellicott City
June 12 – Exxon in the 8300 block of Benson Drive in Columbia
July 15 – Exxon in the 10100 block of LPP in Columbia
July 19 – Exxon ATM in the 7300 block of Washington Boulevard in Elkridge