OXFORD — According to the Butler County Auditor’s office, Butler County is up to 18 credit card skimmers found in gas pumps.
David Brown from the auditor’s office attended the Oxford City Council meeting held on Tuesday, Aug. 15, to share his update. The skimmer situation has been an issue in Butler County for more than a year now, and it seems the placement of the devices has come back into cycle recently.
Brown brought a skimmer they found at a pump in Fairfield to show council members.
“We took one apart and there’s a little motherboard in there and it is getting your information when you swipe your credit card,” he said. “Eventually they come back and download it to put on a clone card that they then use.
“We decided when we found a few more of these recently, and we found five now since July 13, they must be back again with school being back,” he added. “We’re up to 18 found in Butler County. We’re the only ones in the state that are looking every week, that we are aware of. We’re finding more than anybody else, because we’re looking more. We’re pretty much convinced that they’re all over the place.”
They have also experimented with putting cameras in the pump so it can capture an image when somebody goes to put in a skimmer or check on one.
In other auditor news, Brown shared the county’s financial report is out and can be viewed on the auditor’s website in PDF form.
“Real estate return time is getting close,” he added. “For nine straight years the auditor has been able to return fee money, collected from the various levies that local governments have on the books. All the things we do for the real estate department, if we have left over money from that, then we distribute it back percentage wise to all the entities in which we collect that.
“Nine straight years we’ve been doing that. Last year, for the City of Oxford we were able to distribute back $4,200. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but for the tax payers of Oxford — Talawanda schools received $8,100 from the auditors office,” Brown explained. “So that is coming back into the community and again that is based on the levies that are collected. A little portion of that, per the state, goes to the auditor’s office to distribute the funds and do all the things and calculations that need to be done to understand how much needs to be collected and where that money should go.”
“That’s how we get funded and if we do our job efficiently, we’re able to return some of that money back, so we’re happy to say that we’re going to have another one next year,” he said. “Which is this month, next month. The end of August-beginning of September we’ll have all those calculations done and we’ll be able to distribute funds.”
“We’re hoping to be right around the same,” Brown added. “Last year we hit right around $2,000,000 in returns for the county. It was our record breaking year and a great number. Basically, we’re operating a real estate fund budget at half of what it was running when the auditor came into office. We’re able to put that money back where the voters voted it in.”