Edmond police warn of uptick in card skimming cases

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EDMOND, Okla. - It's a warning for your wallet. Authorities are wanting you to be vigilant after a growing number of people in the metro have reported fraudulent use of their credit and debit cards.

"I was pretty worried because I was in the middle of my trip and I was like, gosh, that's my credit card; I hope my debit card's not fraudulent either, or I'm gonna be borrowing money from people to get home," said one of the victims, Jerry Broughton.

Broughton said he was on a business trip when he was alerted to suspicious charges on his credit card. He thinks his card was skimmed in the days leading up to the trip and said he soon learned he wasn't alone.

"About 20 other people from the area I live in Deer Creek had the same problem and, so, that's when I shut my credit card off," he said.

Broughton and several others believe it happened at a gas station in their area, but it's not just a problem exclusive to Edmond residents.

"We've had victims from all over the metro," said Jenny Wagnon of the Edmond Police Department.

Edmond police said they've only filed four official reports but other nearby police departments have called them alerting them to the problem in their area as well.

Officials said they believe, in most cases, the suspects are installing the skimmers on gas pumps and ATMs.

"When you put your card in and out, it's gathering your card information," Wagnon said.

They, then, transfer your information to a prepaid credit card.

"So, then, they can go into a store with a generic gift card, Visa card and use that, but it's actually hitting the checking accounts of the victims," Wagnon said.

Authorities said thieves are becoming very tech-savvy .

"It's an ongoing crime; technology advances it," Wagnon said. "We see it come in waves through the metro, and we're in the middle of one of those waves right now."

Most of the fraudulent uses were reported at the Sam's and Walmart near I-35 and 15th Street in Edmond. Authorities are looking at surveillance video hoping to identify suspects.

Broughton wants to see them off the streets.

"They're a bunch of punks," Broughton said. "Obviously, they're very good at what they do. If they would just apply that to a regular job, they'd probably make more money, but that's just how I feel about it."

If you frequent a particular gas station, police recommend you go in and speak to a manager about their security managers.

Citizen's Bank in Edmond is taking steps to protect their customers.

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