Stephenville police were notified Tuesday that an electronic skimming device had been located in a gas pump at Junction station at 721 E. Road.


Lt. James Gresham with the Stephenville Police Department said skimmers are devices that are installed in gas station pumps that either replaces the card reader in the pump or attaches to and taps the signal from the card reader, allowing criminals to collect information from any individual who uses a debit or credit card at the pump.


“They’re usually fairly sophisticated pieces of technology that need to be installed by somebody who knows how gas pumps work and each different pump would require a different type of skimmer,” Gresham said. “Occasionally, you used to see them when they were outside on the gas pump, but if you’ve noticed, they’ve changed their design where they have lights on the outside and stuff like that now. It makes it more difficult but these are pretty sophisticated pieces of engineering.”


The skimmer was found on one pump by a service technician and the pump was last inspected two weeks ago.


“It happened over a two-week period of time. The technician serviced the pump two weeks prior so he [the service technician] can say within the last two weeks, that’s when the skimmer was installed,” Gresham said.


According to a Stephenville Police Department news release, the department has not received any reports of fraudulent charges from the business.


The technician and store employees contacted police immediately and are cooperating in the investigation.


“We are currently working with the business and are going through surveillance footage and some other odds and ends to try to figure out who and when exactly it was,” Gresham said.


Last year, there were a couple reports of skimming devices found at other gas stations. There was a report in May 2019 of a skimmer found at the Discount Mart Conoco on Lingleville and in August 2019, there was a report of a skimmer found at Lilli Food located at 1165 W. Washington.


Gresham said this is the first skimmer the police have been aware of since last August.


“We just encourage anyone if you’ve shopped or used your credit card at the pump or at this particular business to be aware of it and to check your debit card and your credit card [statements] and make sure there are not additional transactions on it,” Gresham said.


The Stephenville Police Department is asking the public to call (254) 918-1273 if they believe they are a victim of fraudulent charges from this business or any other business. The police department will continue to raise awareness and continue alerting the public to fraudulent activity, according to the news release.