SHERIDAN, Ark., — Investigators believe a gas pump skimmer helped steal thousands of dollars from people in a small Central Arkansas community.
The missing money links back to the Murphy USA gas station in downtown Sheridan.
Sheridan police officers haven’t found the actual skimmer, but they have reports from more than 50 people all saying they stopped at the Murphy USA station over the past few weeks, then noticed hundreds of dollars in charges they never wanted.
“You’re hitting blue-collar people that are working every day,” said T.K. Wilson, whose card information was stolen.
Wilson says he used his credit card at the Murphy USA pump and only found out about the fraud charges when his card was declined.
“They got me for $263, and then turned right around and tried to get another $271 and that’s when the bank caught it,” he explained.
According to police reports cards were used at Krogers in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida with the charges ranging from a couple hundred to more than $2,000.
The Day & Nite is one of the stations in town trying to reassure customers their information was always safe. Station Manager Rebecca Marshall says they never had a breach and there’s no way anyone can lose money at the Day & Nite pumps.
“We don’t have a card reader at the pumps,” she said. “You have to come inside to pay here.”
She says that’s helped bring in more customers, as word of the possible skimmer spreads.
“They’re coming here because they feel more safe since we don’t have card readers,” Marshall said.
Wilson agrees, his safest bet is paying in the store. He says he constantly checks for skimmers but is still stuck paying the price.
“I always pull on the card reader. I also check the red seal to make sure it’s not broken,” he added. “It’s hard-working people just trying to make a living and now you’re putting people out.”
Investigators say there’s a chance a skimmer was used but only left on the pump for a couple of hours a day.
Murphy USA it checks pumps every day and never found a skimmer or even a sign the pumps were tampered with.
Police say customers affected are working with their banks or credit card companies to get their money back.