Erie county weights and measures

Erie county weights and measures DEFAULT

The Erie County Bureau of Weights and Measures (“BWM”) recently aided local and federal law enforcement agencies in the detection and arrest of an individual who had installed “skimming” devices to steal credit card information from unsuspecting customers at Erie County gas stations. Five such devices were detected around the county within a two-day period in mid-July, and BWM worked closely with the Town of Amherst Police Department and agents from the U.S. Secret Service to facilitate an arrest shortly after the devices were discovered. Giraldo Cardenas of Homestead, Florida was arrested for the crime, admitting to law enforcement that he had installed credit card skimmers at gas pumps in Amherst, Lancaster and the Town of Tonawanda.  He faces up to seven years in prison for the offense.


“As thieves continue to exploit new, high-tech ways to scam consumers it is more important than ever to have the Bureau of Weights and Measures on the job to safeguard consumers’ information and ensure the security of transactions,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I thank the Bureau for their recent work in uncovering skimmer theft and for the vigilant work they are doing every day to protect our residents.” 


Criminals using skimming devices are able to capture stolen credit card data through a Bluetooth or even cell phone connection and are able to use that information to produce a “duplicate” credit card while they sit nearby in their vehicle, which can then be used at local establishments within minutes. Fraudulent skimmer installation has become a nationwide problem, evidenced recently in Florida as the FBI arrested 77 people in Miami in June 2018 connected to skimmers found in New York State.


The BWM is mandated to seal all devices (such as gas pumps) in the county to protect against any recalibrations or adjustments without departmental notification. The Bureau’s inspection of these devices includeschecking each meter for accuracy, safety, labeling, and correct price signs along with checking each pump for illegal credit card skimming devices. Until recently, the search for skimmers involved actually opening up a pump and doing a visual check, but now Erie County has purchased a “Blue Sleuth” Skimmer detector which allows Weights and Measures officials to perform a scan of a gas station within minutes, removing the need to open each cabinet individually for visual inspection and saving hundreds of man hours of work annually.

“While the BlueSleuth skimmer scanner is very useful at gas stations, it also able to detect skimmers at retail stores,” said BWM Director Paula Trimper. “Along with vigilance in the search for criminal activity, the Bureau is also charged with ensuring that scanners at retail establishments are performing properly and consumers are getting what they pay for and are not overcharged. Our Examiners perform both Scanner Accuracy and Item Pricing inspections to check the retail establishments for compliance with the law.”


The BWM performs thousands of package checks annually, ensuring proper weight and labeling standards are adhered to, along with inspecting devices to ensure adherence to specific tolerances set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) and the NYS Bureau of Weights and Measures. Devices tested include computing retail scales, such as those found in supermarkets, delis, farm markets, hardware stores, bakeries, candy stores and any site where commodities are sold by weight. BWM also inspects scales used in processing, warehousing and manufacturing at facilities such as quarries, scrap yards, meat packing plants, and garbage transfer stations. The Bureau also inspects all pharmacy scales to ensure accuracy in compounding prescriptions as mandated by the NYS Board of Regents.




For more information:


On the Erie County Bureau of Weights and Measures, click here . 






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The Auditor is the Sealer of Weights and Measures for the entire County, maintaining “Equity in the Marketplace,” thus protecting both buyer and seller from possible loss which may occur from faulty measuring devices, such as scales, scanners, retail motor fuel dispensers and meters. The Auditor is charged with the legal responsibility of ensuring that all State and National Laws relating to Weights and Measures are strictly enforced.

Sealers perform inspections, and test on both commercial and some non-commercial devices to insure those devices meet the criteria of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Type Evaluation Program. Audits and Tests are also performed on Random Packed items a store may weigh such as meats, cheeses and produce and Standard Packed items. These tests are conducted to insure the product meets or exceeds the requirements of Handbook 130, Checking The Net Contents of Packaged Goods. Price Verification test are also performed to make sure there is no misrepresentation of pricing. County Sealers are certified by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and must maintain the required Minimum Training Requirements established by the State. Inspectors must pass all National Institute of Standards and Technology test with an 80% or higher grade to attain certification, and 18 credit hours of training are mandatory for inspectors who have completed their training for maintaining certification each year.

The Sealer of Erie county is responsible for testing a total of 4052 Devices in Erie County in 2019.  These included  863 Scale Devices,  1983 Liquid Measuring Devices, 860 Blend Only Liquid Measuring Devices, 223 Other Devices, and 123 Non-Commercial Devices.  Look for the Yearly County seal on those devices inspected and tested to be assured that they were correct, accurate and sealed. Again, these services are performed to “Maintain Equity in the Marketplace,” if you believe a device is not performing properly, or for more information, please contact the Erie County Auditor’s Office, Weights and Measures Division at (419) 627-7746. For web information concerning Weights and Measures go to and be sure to checkout the link page a Consumers Guide to Getting What You Pay For. It is very informative. For more information on weights and measures check out the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Weights and Measures Pamphlet - Click here to read more.

2020 Erie County Weights and Measures Annual Report

2019-2022 Erie County Weights and Measures Certificate

Link to Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Weights and Measures

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Weights and Measures

Pay fees and penalties online

This agency is tasked with assuring that all devices used commercially within the county are accurate and are constructed in a manner to prevent fraud.  It is also responsible for compliance with the local item pricing/scanner accuracy law. This law requires that consumers know and pay the lowest of any advertised price.

Our Mission

Ensure that equity prevails in the marketplace.

Organization News

Pay your fees and/or penalties online. Click "Pay Fees & Penalties" located in the menu.

Contact us at

2380 Clinton Street
Buffalo, New York 14227

Phone: (716) 825-1310 - Fax: (716) 823-7686

Email: [email protected]

Program Description

The Weights and Measures Division inspects, tests, and certifies the accuracy of all commercial weighing and measuring devices, including gasoline and other fuel pumps or meters in Erie County.  It is responsible for enforcing all applicable laws, rules, regulations and ordinances prescribed by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the County of Erie.  It ensures that buyers and sellers of commodities base their transactions upon accurate weights, measures or counts by confirming the accuracy and the proper usage of all commercial devices.  In 1997, this Division joined forces with New York State's Weights and Measures to test the octane of petroleum products within our county. The cost of this program is fully reimbursed by the State.

The Scanner Accuracy and Item Pricing Division enforces Erie County Local Law 7 (1997) by conducting inspections at retail establishments to ensure that the customer knows the price they should be paying and that they pay that price. It enforces payment to customers who have been overcharged.

The Bureau receives revenue from civil penalties assessed for violations of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law and Erie County Local Law 7 (1997). A user fee system was enacted in 1989 to help defray this Division’s cost to the taxpayers.

E.C. Weights \u0026 Measures director fails to answer accusations

Erie County Bureau of Weights & Measures becomes the Division of Consumer Protection, has new responsibilities

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 was passed on Thursday by the Erie County Legislature, creating a Division of Consumer Protection within the Department of Public advocacy in Erie County.

This means the Bureau of Weights and Measures will be transferring from the Department of Public Works and into the Department of Public Advocacy.

It's purpose is to protect citizens from scams.

"There have always been people who want to defraud us, who want to scam us but today especially with the internet, it's on steroids," said Legislator Kevin Hardwick

People have fallen victim to Social Security scams, social media scams and had their credit card information stolen.

This new law not only means the Bureau of Weights and Measures gets a new name, it also means there will be a new consumer affairs director to help educate and protect the public.

The Division's responsibility is to be more responsive to local consumer complaints and fraud.

"Not a day goes by when I don't get a phone call or I get a computer message, someone trying to get access to my personal information so that they could take my money away from me," said Legislator Hardwick.

The legislation passed despite some opposition.

"I'm not convinced it's going to do as the title of the job says it's going to do," Legislator Lynne Dixon.

"I'll be voting for this but I will be watching the transition; how this really happens so it really protects the consumer," said Legislator John Mills.

"I'm not convinced that this is necessary in county government," said Legislator Edward Rath.

But Legislator Kevin Hardwick said both the position and division are needed within county government.

"I've had my information stolen. I've had to go through the process of calling the bank, getting [a] new credit, waiting for the new credit card to come more than once. I think everybody can identify with that," he said.

The new consumer division is expected to be up and running on January 1.


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E.C. Weights \u0026 Measures director fails to answer accusations

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