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5 credit card skimmers found at 2 Sonoma gas stations

A Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy found five credit card skimmers at the pumps of two gas stations north of the City of Sonoma Thursday, the sheriff’s office said.

The data gathering devices were found at the Valero gas station at 18605 state Highway 12 and across the street at the Beacon gas station at 18618 Highway 12. Sheriff’s investigators are processing the five skimmers.

Two other skimming devices were removed before the five devices were reported by the gas station operators, and the skimmers might have been in place and operating since Oct. 5, the sheriff’s office said.

Thieves install the skimmers in the credit card terminal of a gas pump. The skimmers read and save credit and debit card information that is used to make fraudulent transactions.

The sheriff’s office advises customers who used their cards at the two stations to cancel the cards and monitor their credit card statements and banking records for fraudulent activity since Oct. 5.

Customers who use cards to pay for gas should make their purchase at a terminal inside the gas station if one is available to reduce the risk of skimming and fraudulent activity.

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