Two skimmers found inside gas station in Vermillion

Local News

VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — The Vermillion Police Department is trying to figure out who put skimmers on a credit card reader inside a local gas station. KELOLAND’s Whitney Fowkes is back from Vermillion where she talked with police, the manager and a customer.

A skimmer is kind of like a phone cover. It’s a device that’s put over a credit card machine that takes only a few seconds to install.  The skimmer then takes your credit card information to be used for fraudulent charges.

When customers started asking questions about new keypads, staff at the Pump n Pak in Vermillion decided to take a closer look. That’s when they found two skimmers on the credit card machines just inches from the cash registers.

“Generally, I think, what they are seeing is that you’ll find these things on gas pumps, and things like that, so it maybe is a little outside the norm that we found these on the machines inside the business,” Chad Passick, Vermillion Police Department Captain, said.

“I always think you’re probably better off going inside, but the problem with a lot of places is you have to pay ahead of time, which is kind of a hassle, so I do actually pay out here most of the time. I guess you don’t know who to trust anymore with a credit card,” Dave Rippke, getting gas, said.

Dave Rippke traveled from Nebraska to pick up his grandson from football camp. He didn’t know anything out of the ordinary had happened at the gas station, until he saw our camera. 

“It probably would have deterred me, but you know, you think about it and its probably the safest place to go today because I’m sure they went through all the pumps and the other places that read the cards and made sure that they don’t have anything else going on here. I guess I’m actually feeling pretty safe about things right now, so I guess that’s good,” Dave Rippke said.

Manager Tracie Lerfald didn’t want to go on camera but told KELOLAND News those employees and customers were key in finding the devices. 

Lerfald says staff did check gas pumps and the ATM machine for more skimmers after the incident, but were happy to find none were there.

The Pump N Pak has surveillance cameras inside the business, which could help with the investigation. 

“Investigation continues into the origin of these, the suspects who placed them there, and exactly what the timeline is, and how long they’ve been there,” Passick said.

If you’ve been to the Vermillion Pump N Pak and have seen suspicious activity on your credit card — contact the Vermillion Police Department.

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