Group of identity thieves in operation in Lucas, Fulton Co. - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Group of identity thieves in operation in Lucas, Fulton Co.

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)

(WTOL) - If you live in Lucas or Fulton County, you might want to make sure you identity is secure before you make your next purchase. 

Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez is warning residents of those counties to be aware of a group of identity thieves in operation. 

The Lucas and Fulton County Sheriff's Office said two men and a woman were caught on camera using stolen credit card numbers at Walmart stores in the area. 

Police say they were last seen in Lucas and Fulton Counties, and there could be other people involved besides the three caught on camera. 

Police say it's unclear how the thieves got the victims' information. However, police say all four known victims, two from Lucas County and two from Fulton County, reported suspicious credit card activity after using their cards at Ozzie's gas station and convenience store on Central Avenue. 

An investigation revealed an external skimmer on gas pump number six.

"If you think a machine has been tampered with, trust your gut and know that it's been tampered with," said Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp. "Don't use that machine. Report it to the gas station owner or to the auditor's office, and don't hesitate to call 911."

Lopez is urging everyone to pay close attention to their credit or debit statements and to use cash whenever possible.

"Understand, if there is a skimmer, and we don't always know if there's going to be a skimmer, if you use your debit card you are putting yourself at risk to be a victim. If you can in any way, use a credit card or pay inside or hit credit. Do not ever put your pin information into a gas pump," Lopez said.

It is also important to inspect ATMs, gas station dispensers and other credit-card pay terminals before using them. 

Skimmer thieves have access to the newest technologies that make it difficult for law enforcement alone to stay on top of identity theft. It's up to everyone to make sure your identity stays protected.

Anyone with information on these three thieves is eligible for a $1,000 reward. 

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