TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Police found a gas station skimmer Thursday on West Gandy Boulevard, and 8 On Your Side was there as it happened.
News Channel 8 was on scene as officers closed the Citgo station located at 4702 West Gandy Blvd. Police processed the pump evidence for fingerprints. They said this same station was previously hit in April.
Police aren’t sure how long the most recent skimmer was in the pump. The station has surveillance cameras, however, it’s closed from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. That gives crooks plenty of time to do their dirty work.
A cashier at the gas station told News Channel 8 the staff is doing everything possible to keep customers safe. Employees are encouraging customers to pay inside.
Tampa Police say drivers should use the pumps closest to the cashier. “Very often, they will set the skimmer on the pump that is furthest away or in a more isolated area. So if you can, just get right in the middle of everything where there are other people around,” Tampa Police Department Spokesman Steve Hegarty said.
Police also recommend people go inside the store and pay with cash or a credit card.
Kenneth Wheeler, of Tampa, filled up at the pump in question Thursday. He said he was not surprised by the skimmer. “I mean, it happens a lot of places around the world,” Wheeler said. “There’s just always people trying to make a dollar.”
Kevin Brown is a possible victim of skimming. Brown, of Tampa, knows all too well about credit card fraud. He lives in Tampa and received a call from his bank asking about charges made in Miami. That’s when Brown realized he had been hacked.
“Well it made me wonder how they got my credit card number and how they were able to use it in Miami,” he told News Channel 8. “[Consumers should] be cautious, not fearful – but cautious.”
This latest case comes just days after a judge sentenced Yannier Arias to nearly a decade behind bars for skimming. Arias’ partner in crime, Daniel Sardinas Lopez, is already locked up. The two were convicted of skimming in three Tampa Bay area counties, including Hillsborough, Pinellas and Sarasota.
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