The debit card account numbers of over 600 members of the Del Norte Credit Union in Santa Fe have been stolen by thieves who are believed to have used a “skimmer” device at a local gas station, Santa Fe police reported.
An Del Norte manager discovered that all of the victims had used their cards to pay at the pump when they bought fuel at the Giant gas station on Sawmill Road and 17 of the stolen numbers were used to make purchases between March 20 and March 24 in Las Vegas, Nev. and neighboring Henderson, said police spokeswoman Celina Westervelt. The credit union reported the incident on Monday.
Westervelt said authorities do not yet know which businesses were used to make purchases in Nevada or how much money was involved. “This is the first report we have had and if they had 600 victims this case could grow,” said Westervelt. Santa Fe police and the U.S. Secret Service are investigating.
The card skimmer police think was used is placed in the gas pump card reader and when a customer swipes their card the device obtains the card number and pin or zip code.
The wife of a Santa Fe officer, who purchased gas at the same Giant, had $1,000 taken out of her account although she is a customer at the Los Alamos National Bank, said Westervelt.
Police are advising the public to go inside gas stations to use their cards if possible and to check the gas pump to see if anything looks different or suspicious and also to check their bank statements for fraudulent charges. Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call police at (505) 428-3710.