PoliTex

$1,300 siphoned from Arlington woman’s debit card when she stopped for a tank of gas

Skimmers were found at an Arlington gas station.
Skimmers were found at an Arlington gas station. AP

The Arlington woman just needed to fill her car up with gas.

So she stopped at Hawk’s Pantry on West Randol Mill Road in Arlington, swiped her debit card and drove away with a full tank of gasoline.

Within a few hours, there were at least 11 ATM charges — from Killeen and Austin — withdrawing around $1,300 from her bank account.

She called the bank, filed a fraud claim and didn’t know she was one of countless victims of card skimming until Texas Department of Agriculture officials put out an alert that skimmers were found on four pumps at Hawk’s Pantry and eventually removed by Arlington police officers.

“I honestly had no idea that that was where/how it happened,” said Diana, who declined to give her last name. “I had no idea how someone got both my debit card number and pin.”

Diana said the money stolen from her account was reimbursed by the bank.

But she is changing her habits.

“I will never use a debit card again at a gas station,” she said. “I am going to pay in advance inside going forward.”

State officials say these devices have been found across Texas in fuel pumps, helping thieves siphon information from Texans’ credit and debit cards.

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has asked all Texans to be on alert and report any problems found at the more than 400,000 fuel pumps across the state.

Anyone with information about skimmers or problems should call the Agriculture Department at 1-800-TELL-TDA.

‘A fringe voice’

Kathleen Hartnett White — the Texan nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality — raised a few eyebrows recently in Washington, D.C. during her Senate confirmation hearing.

White, a cattle rancher and dog breeder who previously led the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, has drawn criticism for disparaging renewable energy, claiming that carbon dioxide “has none of the characteristics of a pollutant that could harm human health” and stating that climate science is “highly uncertain.

“Your positions are so far out of the mainstream, they are not just outliers, they are outrageous,” Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey said at one point, “You have a fringe voice that denies science, economics and reality.”

Of note

Dozens of candidates have already filed for spots on next year’s ballot.

The election is March 6, 2018.

Filing continues through Dec. 11.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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