SAN ANTONIO -- The Secret Service estimated more than $5.5 million was lost last year from credit card skimming in San Antonio.That's why the Texas Food and Fuel Association and police are working to crack down on the growing problem.

  • Credit card skimmers a growing problems in San Antonio
  • Skimmers typically attahced to gas pumps and ATMs
  • San Antonio police teaming with Texas Food and Fuel Association to address problem

San Antonio Police tell us skimming has grown threefold between 2017 and 2018.

"Obviously when you see a growth like that, that's a major problem," said Lieutenant Marcus Booth of the San Antonio Police Department.

Most of those problems are at gas pumps and some ATMs. To fix the problem, those older machines need to be upgraded.

"If we can get these merchants to change over their gear and use this encrypted equipment it really solves the problem," Booth said. 

"[We are] working on legislation by pushing a bill forward right now that actually would add skimming to the predicate charges of organized crime," said Paul Harden of the Texas Food and Fuel Association.

The law would make it a harsher punishment for the criminals. They are also working to move another bill to create a Fusion Center operated by either DPS or local law enforcement.

"All reported skimming incidents go right to that Fusion Center," Harden said. "That Fusion Center also housed law enforcement information such as photos and everything else on potential criminals."

"Because right now San Antonio has their stats but that's not really being shared with San Angelo or Tyler or wherever it may be," said Harden.

It's a copycat idea from Florida which they say works very well for them. 

"San Antonio is indicative of the larger problem of the nation in general," said Paul Duran of the U.S. Secret Service San Antonio field office.

The plan is to suppress the problem in the next six months to a year.