A Madera County gas station is the latest place hit in a credit card skimming operation that has cost Valley consumers thousands of dollars, the Madera County Sheriff's Office reported.
More than 50 gas station customers in Madera County alone were victims, a figure that continues to grow as cardholders discover fraudulent charges on their monthly statements.
The identity theft started a couple of months ago in Tulare, authorities said, when a Shell station was hit. Then a skimming ring struck a Shell station in Fresno.
It appears only one Shell station was targeted in Madera County, at Avenue 12 in Madera Ranchos.
Personal information was siphoned from unwitting drivers who fueled up from Aug. 30 to Sept. 10.
Sheriff John Anderson said cardholders learned they were victims after seeing major purchases on their card statements in Southern California.
Skimmers also can swipe confidential and personal data from your credit card, Anderson said.
Anyone with information about the skimming is urged to call the sheriff's office at (559) 675-7770, or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP. An anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest could bring a reward of as much as $1,000.