Henry County court extended for alleged skimmer

Another trial week has been added in December for a suspect in reference to a case regarding the use of credit card skimmers in Mt. Pleasant.

During the regular Henry County Supervisors county department head meeting Thursday morning in Henry County Courthouse, county attorney’s office manager Tammy Mulford reported a trial is scheduled for Dec. 18. She said a male subject has been arrested in Arizona in reference to a case of credit card skimming. The suspect — no name was given — is awaiting an extradition hearing on Dec. 12. She explained if the suspect allows extradition, members of the Henry County Sheriff’s office would go get him. If the suspect declines extradition, the county attorney’s office would begin processing a governor’s warrant to bring the subject back to Henry County for prosecution.

“At this point it is an ongoing investigation and we haven’t filed trial information yet,” Milford said after the meeting. “That is why I didn’t go into a lot of detail. We really can’t comment on it at this point.”

Just over a year ago, the Mt. Pleasant Police Department reported credit card fraud was increasing at an alarming rate. At the time, the department reported receiving one report per day.

Skimmers are small devices that can scan and store credit card data from the magnetic stripes. Thieves can install skimmers on a gas pump, or employees can have a skimmer stashed out of sight of customers. Once the card is run through the skimmer, the data is recorded, and the thief can sell the information through a contact or on the Internet, at which point counterfeit cards are made. The criminals go on a shopping spree with a cloned copy of the credit or debit card, and cardholders are unaware of the fraud until a statement arrives with purchases they did not make. On a couple of occasions skimmers were placed on gas pumps in the Mt. Pleasant area.

In a previous interview, the Mt. Pleasant Police Department would also like to remind people to check credit card readers. They should not be loose or come off, they should not have wires running to them in plain view and there is often security tape on the payment part that should not be cut. If you observe any of these items you should contact the store or Police Department.