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Sunday, Jun 17, 2018
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‘Skimmers’ captured 342 credit cards

BROOKSVILLE — A joint, ongoing investigation between U.S. Secret Service and Hernando County Sheriff’s Office found 342 card numbers captured on “skimming” devices installed on four gas pumps at a local gas station.

The sheriff’s office warned residents who gassed up at a local Hess station earlier this week to check their bank statements after internal “skimmers” — small electronic devices that capture credit and debit card information — were found.

The Hess Gas Station is located at 26260 Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville at the Spring Lake Highway intersection.

Following a Secret Service’s analysis, the sheriff’s office said there is no evidence the devices were equipped with wireless capabilities, and detectives do not believe the suspect or suspects obtained the credit card numbers.

The sheriff’s office believes the skimmers were placed in the pumps between 6 p.m. Tuesday evening and 7:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, when a manager discovered the devices.

Patrons who used pumps 1, 2, 7 and 8 since Tuesday morning at the station were urged to cancel their cards and have a new one issued.

Gas receipts will list which pump was used.

Detective Tony Aguiar said Thursday he had received several calls and emails from people who used the pumps during the affected time period but hadn’t received any reports of the card information being used.

Aguiar said this might be because the skimmers were found relatively quickly after being installed, and the suspects might not have been able to access the card information. Aguiar also said card information isn’t always used immediately in skimmer fraud instances.

Anyone who observed any suspicious activity at Hess’ pumps is asked to contact Aguiar at taguiar @hernandosheriff.org or call Hernando County Crime Stoppers at (866) 990-8477.

Victims are asked to contact the sheriff’s office to file a report. After your bank deactivates the affected credit or debit card, email Aguiar with the card number and your contact information.

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