Drivers warned of skimming scams after Howard Co. finds 30 devices so far this year
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WBFF) - Howard County police are warning drivers of skimmers attached to ATMs and gas pumps, after two Florida men were charged last week with possessing such devices in an Ellicott City gas station.
"Skimmers are hidden illegal card readers attached to ATMs and gas pumps, often inside the cabinet, that take data from a credit or debit card, including PIN numbers," explained Howard County police in a statement released Friday. "Criminals sell the stolen data or use it to drain bank accounts."
Skimming devices have been recovered at the following Howard County sites this year. Nearly 30 skimming devices have been recovered in the county in the 19 cases this year.:
Jan. 16 - Shell, 6200 block of Washington Blvd., Elkridge
Jan. 23 - BP, 5800 block Washington Blvd., Laurel
Feb. 4 - Hess, 6300 block of Washington Blvd., Elkridge
March 1 - Sleep Inn, 10100 North 2nd Street, Laurel
March 2 - Exxon, 8200 block of Snowden River Pkwy., Columbia
April 29 - Tower FCU (ATM), 9000 block of Snowden River Pkwy., Columbia
May 2 - Exxon, 8800 block of Centre Park Dr., Columbia
May 17 - Exxon, 8800 block of Centre Park Dr., Columbia
May 24 - Turf Valley Hotel, 2700 block of Turf Valley Rd., Ellicott City
June 9 - Exxon, 4200 block of Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City
June 12 - Exxon, 8300 block of Benson Dr., Columbia
June 26 - Exxon, 8200 block of Snowden River Pkwy., Columbia
July 15 - Exxon, 10100 block of Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia
July 19 - Exxon (ATM), 7300 block of Washington Blvd., Elkridge
Aug. 2 (two reports) - Exxon, 8800 block of Centre Park Dr., Columbia
Aug. 10 - Exxon, 4200 block of Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City
Aug. 12 (two reports) - Exxon, 4200 block of Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City
Two Miami, Fla., men - Mario Eduardo Castro Ramirez, 51, and Frank Alvarez Rodriguez, 29 - were charged last week after they were seen by an Exxon gas station employee on Montgomery Road with placing a device in a pump on August 9.
They were the fifth and sixth skimming arrests in Howard County so far this year, said police.