Local/State

Dozens fall victim to credit card skimming scam

Friday, April 12, 2013

Police say at least 25 people fell victim to a credit card skimming scam at a Wawa gas station in Burlington Township, New Jersey.

It happened at a Wawa gas station on the 1800 block of Salem Road.

"Thankfully we caught it early so there was not thousands and thousands of dollars stolen," said one victim.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, says her company is one of several victims of an identity theft scheme carried out by a gas station attendant.

Police say Christopher Williams of Burlington Township is accused of using a skimming device to swipe credit card information from several customers over the last four to six weeks.

Three of his accomplices, who do not work at Wawa, are also charged.

The anonymous victim and her co-workers, who only use the station to fill up their company vehicles, quickly realized something wasn't right with their banking statements.

"We only use this Wawa. They only come here for gas and a week later the card ended up in the Carolinas," she said.

Detective Marc Carnivale says investigators know of 25 victims so far but they expect more.

"You hand your card over to the attendant, while their backs to you they swipe it in the skimmer," said Det. Carnivale.

Police say it's an easy crime to commit and often goes undetected.

In New Jersey, customers paying at the pump have to hand to an attendant because there is no self service.

"They're small, easily concealable, you wouldn't even know your gas attendant has one," said Det. Carnivale.

A Wawa spokesperson says, "Wawa's security team took immediate action and quickly identified the individual responsible for the skimming using our surveillance tools and systems."

Store regulars are now understandably concerned.

"That makes me feel like should I ever use a credit card again? If someone can track my money - not good," said Nicalette Timmons.

"It's hard to believe that would happen in your neighborhood. Always see it on Action News but don't expect it to happen to you," said Lou DiCrescenzo.

"It's a shame, you work hard for your money and then someone finds a way to scheme you so that they don't have to work hard," said Vicki Cann.

Police warn people to be more attentive by keeping a close watch if their card is in someone else's hands and by logging online to check on bank accounts daily.

If you feel like you could be a victim in this case, contact your bank, and they'll work with police to investigate.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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