Kaufman police find skimmers after constable was scammed

Image 1 of 2

Kaufman police are looking for whoever placed skimmers on area gas pumps that were discovered on Thursday.

Police were tipped off after a constable became a victim. They say it happened at the AAA food store at South Washington and Ninth. They are urging people who went there recently to keep an eye on their bank accounts for anything fishy.

In a small city like Kaufman with only so many places to pump gas, it's still a mystery why the crooks picked that area.

The local AAA food store, where David Karnes often catches up with friends, was this week the victim of a high-tech financial crime.

“I think it’s stupid. I think it’s crazy that somebody wants to steal instead of work,” Karnes said.

Police got onto the scam when one of their fellow law enforcement officers got word Thursday of a fishy purchase on his county card.

“Once I got the alert, it just threw up a red flag with me that this is probably what has occurred,” said Kaufman County Precinct 1 Constable Shawn Mayfield.

The constable then alerted the police who showed up and found two skimmers.

“It is frustrating,” Mayfield said. “It just shows anybody can be a victim.”

The problem isn't going away anytime soon. Just this week, the Secret Service had agents around the country checking for skimmer devices as millions of Americans hit the road for the July Fourth holiday.

Over Memorial Day, agents recovered more than 70 skimmers nationwide.

There are a couple things that can be done to spot a skimmer. One thing people can do is look to see if the seals on the fuel pump are broken. That may mean someone has tampered with it. You can also jiggle the card reader. If it shakes loose, that could indicate a skimmer. And if you notice anything suspicious, go inside and talk with a clerk.

“I just wish the effort that they put into stealing from people they would put into actual working at a job, they'd be more productive,” Mayfield said.

The constable is hopeful whoever is behind the skimmers will soon have to answer for it.

The Secret Service says developing suspects in these types of cases is tough in part because pumps are unattended and crooks can make it look like they're just they're just fumbling around while pumping gas.