Invisible thief: Credit card skimmers found inside pumps at local gas station

MERCER ISLAND  --  Police are warning drivers that their next stop at the pump could cost them much more than just the price of gas.

The scam is nothing new, but local business owners and drivers in Mercer Island say it is new to this area and it's easier than you can imagine.

Mercer Island businessman Marty Ulrich, who owns the Chevron gas station on Sunset highway, discovered credit card skimmers inside two of his pumps Tuesday.

“We just found a little device that had a little green light on it attached to the ribbon to our credit card readers. We knew right away it was a device that wasn't supposed to be in there,” says Ulrich.

Drivers on Mercer Island are just as shocked.  And local police are warning, via their Facebook page, skimming could be an issue at other gas stations in the area.

Many people are now second-guessing strange activity on their cards after filling up.

“I'll just be more careful about it to know that they actually install this type of device in there. ATMs, you hear about that, and other bank machines, but I didn't know it was happening at gas stations,” says driver Patrick Conrardy.

Ulrich took action, ordering brand new locks for his pumps, but he knows there's no way to prevent this type of scam for good.

“It costs a lot of money. The locks themselves are going to cost me $2,000 to put in,” says Ulrich.

And while he puts more cash towards protecting his business, Ulrich suggests drivers pay with cash to protect themselves from this scam. But those we talked to say no way – it’s just too inconvenient.