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January 17, 2020
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Card skimmers found at second gas station

WATSONVILLE—Watsonville police are again warning the public to be careful with their credit and debit cards after an investigator found two card skimmers at a gas pump.

Credit card skimmers are often installed on gas pumps by criminals to steal account information. They can be installed in about 60 seconds, police say.

The discovery of the devices at Gomez Gas, located at 153 Main St. in Watsonville, was the second in two months. Police found five of the devices at a different gas station in mid-November.

A state investigator doing a routine check discovered the devices, said WPD Det. Rudy Lopez.

“As soon as he found them, he called the police and we responded out there,” Lopez said.

To avoid falling victim to a skimmer scam, police suggest using cash when possible and using cards inside the store.

Lopez said that investigators have not found skimmers at any other gas station. 

As of Wednesday, no victims have come forward. WPD detectives are working with the U.S. Secret Service, which is sending the seized skimmers for fingerprints and DNA analysis, WPD spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said.  

Customers should also frequently monitor their bank accounts, and be on the lookout for unusual looking gas pumps such as loose fittings and hanging wires.

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