Credit card thieves target Kemp residents

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 19, 2017

By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–The Kemp City Council learned of white-collar crime in their neighborhood during the regular meeting May 9.
Interim Police Chief James Cook updated the council that a local Valero gas station was targeted by a “skimming” scam, which allows thieves to steal credit and debit card information from customers.
According to Cook, the thieves’ technology is getting more sophisticated and difficult to identify. The thieves pose as gas pump repair men, Cook explained. They open up the pumps and rig it with a device no larger than a USB port that steals credit and debit card numbers, along with their corresponding PIN codes. The thieves don’t even need to be nearby; and can access all the information remotely.
Kemp resident Shane Hyde corroberated the chief’s report saying he was one whose credit card information had been compromised.
Hyde said he got a call from Life Lock (a banking security company) saying his account had suspicious activity April 21. Multiple money orders for $1,000 were created from his account information at a supermarket in Houston, he said.
He also got charged for $300 in gas from multiple Houston stations. Hyde has since been refunded and has pressed charges in the Houston area.
An independent auditor visited the council and delivered a report to council members. The city had $1,167,914 in total revenue in 2016 and 894,919 in expenses. The city of Kemp’s revenues exceeded its expenditures by $361,704.
Council members also canvassed the results of the May 6 special election, “determining whether a sale and use tax at the rate of one-fourth of one percent for the maintenance and repair of municipal streets should be authorized.” The results were:
Early voting: For, 34; Against, 6.
Election Day: For, 18; Against, 6.
The proposal gained overwhelming approval from voters: 52-12.
In other business, council members:
• approved a zoning variance at 109 North main street for residential and commercial use
• opened a specific city bank account for the water surcharge deposits for transparency’s sake.