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3 charged with SoCal gas pump ID theft; Sandy police looking for link

3 charged with SoCal gas pump ID theft; Sandy police looking for link

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SANDY -- Sandy City police are looking to see if a group of men charged in California could have anything to do with skimming devices found on Utah gas pumps designed to steal people's banking information.

The men pleaded not guilty Monday in Los Angeles to dozen charges of conspiracy, identity theft, grand theft and computer access fraud.

Prosecutors contend the men installed skimmers on computerized gas pumps that recorded credit card, debit card and PIN that later were used to withdraw cash from ATMs.

This is just like the scam uncovered at two Sandy 7-Eleven gas stations last month.

Sandy police Sgt. Troy Arnold says their detectives have contacted California detectives to share and compare case information. At the early stages investigators have not found a connection in the cases, but they'll continue to look.

What is ... card skimming?
It is the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit or ATM card. The scammers try to steal your details so they can access your accounts. Once scammers have skimmed your card, they can create a fake or ‘cloned' card with your details on it. The scammer is then able to run up charges on your account.

"I think we are going to find it's just not a group of one of two or three individuals. I believe we are going to find out that this is a large organization, or there are multiple groups of people doing this," said Arnold.

Sandy police say they've received dozens of calls from people thinking they might have been victimized since announcing the skimming devices were uncovered.

Arnold says the good news is that since the announcement, gas stations around Sandy and the area have been taking steps to prevent crooks from gaining access to the gas pumps to install skimming devices.

He said, "Whether it's to put locks on their pumps or certain keys on their pumps. Some of the gas stations throughout the valley have even gone as far to say you need to come in if you are making purchases with debit or credit cards."

Los Angeles County prosecutors say the men had 10,000 stolen numbers when they were arrested on Feb. 25. Authorities also seized $40,000 and fancy cars, including a Ferrari.


Story compiled with contributions from Randall Jeppesen and the Associated Press.

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