Crime At The Gas Pump

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(Memphis) Filling up isn't cheap.

"For my truck when it is sitting on empty, it takes about 60 dollars," says Elizabeth Gray of Orange Mound.

So if someone offers to fill your tank for half the price, would you give them cash?

"No. That ain't nothing but a scam," says Gray.

She has gotten the pitch at the pump before.

"He was asking everybody at the gas station. I don't know if they did it or not. I know I didn't do it," she says.

She's smart not to take the bait in what has become criminals' latest way to make a mint at the pump.

It works like this: They come up to you at the gas pump and offer to fill up your tank. If it costs you 40 dollars to fill up, but they will do it for 20 dollars cash.

The only problem, they are using somebody else's stolen credit card to fill up your tank and pocketing the cash.

Attorney Larry Copeland's credit card was stolen and used at a South Memphis gas pump.

"My bank actually did call me and said my debit  card was being used in a zip code that I had never visited in the 15 years I had the account with them," says Copeland. "They sold about 150 to 200 dollars worth of gas in about 45 minutes."

The bank cut the card off at the pump.

You would think the offer would be an automatic red flag for most.

"I would wonder what's going on in that deal. Just to be filling my tank up for half price," says Charles Thomas of South Memphis.

Some people take the bait, taking part in the crime.

"If you know the credit card is stolen or should have known  the credit card was stolen, then you are just at culpable as the person who took the card," says Copeland.

Saying no saves everyone a lot of trouble.

"I'm gonna pay the price. If I want to ride, I'm gonna pay the cost. I'm not gonna try and get by," says Robert Zuber of Orange Mound.

Often gas station attendants don`t even notice the criminals making their pitch, especially if no one complains. So they can rack up a quick few hundred dollars in a matter of minutes.

Once you realize your credit card is missing, call your bank immediately.