Another Sierra Madre gas station has proven to be the site of credit and ATM card fraud. Police have confirmed that “fraud skimmers” were placed inside pumps at , 4 Baldwin Ave., between Dec. 1 and Dec. 27. Several residents have reported their credit and ATM cards have been compromised.
The scam comes practically one year to the day when identity theft was reported following the use of credit or debit cards at the former EVG Quality Gas station (now Sierra Madre Gas Square, Inc.) at 50 Baldwin Ave. Nearly 600 victims were drained of more than $172,000 during that incident, which occurred in late December 2010.
Last year police investigated the Valero gas station pumps in conjunction with the EVG investigation after at least two residents reported their bank accounts had been compromised despite never having used EVG pumps. The two stations are mere blocks from each other on Baldwin Ave.
No arrests have been made in the EVG case, though newly-appointed Police Chief Larry Giannone told Patch in a separate interview that the investigation is ongoing, and the police are working with the FBI and U.S. Secret Service.
“,” said Chief Giannone. “They are making headway on the case. It just hasn't been put in a box and put away. We are still investigating that and hoping to have some word out to the public in the near future with the results of that case."
Police will not comment on whether the EVG and Valero incidents could be related, and remain tight-lipped about details of the investigation. However, they are urging residents to be vigilant.
“We’re aware that there’s an issue and we are investigating,” said Sgt. Ruben Enriquez. “At this point people need to check their bank statements on a daily basis.”
Sgt. Enriquez said that so far police have one confirmed victim and several reports from alleged victims.
A “fraud skimmer” collects data from a person’s credit card or ATM card that can be used to make purchases at other locations, said Sgt. Enriquez.
If used a credit or ATM card at Sierra Madre's Valero between Dec. 1 and Dec. 27 and you suspect your bank accounts have been compromised, contact the Sierra Madre Police Department at (626) 355-1414.
If you are a Valero victim, Patch would like to speak with you. Please e-mail Cassandra at firstname.lastname@example.org.