Nationwide card skimming crime hits the CSRA


A nationwide crime is hitting areas of the CSRA.

Many locals have fallen victim to card skimmers, and recently the Sheriff’s Office found them in Richmond and Columbia counties.

Card skimming is when criminals steal money through an electronic device that they put on a payment terminal.

It’s a crime that’s swept the entire CSRA.

Investigator with Financial Crimes Unit, William Bonsack, says, “in Columbia County, in Richmond County, as well as North Augusta, South Carolina.”

NewsChannel 6 asked Investigator Bonsack if there were any other places, besides gas stations and banks, that these fraud crimes happen.

He says, “grocery stores, wal mart, you name it. It can happen anywhere.”

10-20 fraud cases  reported in the last two weeks are tied to a nationwide investigation involving the United States Secret Service.

“There are a massive number of romanians involved in this, who are coming to the United States illegally,” says Bonsack.

Two males caught skimming people in our area were arrested in Atlanta.

“They had $100,000 in cash on them and over 100 white blank debit cards that had already been encoded,” says Bonsack.

Even with the criminals behind bars, neighbors don’t feel safe.

CSRA local, Hope Sanders, says, “you’re out there working hard for your money and then people are trying to take it from you so it doesn’t make you feel very safe out here.”

Another local, Amanda McKinney, says, “I don’t want to lose everything we have.”

One way to check for card skimmers is using the card skimming app and luckily in this area there are none found, however, this app is not a 100% guarantee.

“The problem is, they’ve become so sophisticated that you can look at it, wiggle on it and maybe never know that it was there because it was all done internally,” says Bonsack.

When the two individuals complete their senteces in Dekalb County, Columbia County also has warrants out for their arrest.

There are still more skimmers out there. If found, please contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

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