Sebastian Couple Victim Of Gas Station Skimmer Theft

Man seen using a duplicated debit card after using a skimmer in Sebastian. (Photo: Sebastian
Man seen using a duplicated debit card after using a skimmer in Sebastian. (Photo: Sebastian Police Department)

SEBASTIAN – Detectives with the Sebastian Police Department are seeking the identity of a man who allegedly used a skimmer at a gas pump and a camera to duplicate a debit card.

The couple contacted Sebastian Daily to warn others of this potential problem.

“My husband’s debit card was copied using a scanner and a camera to see the pin when you enter it at the gas pumps,” the wife, who wants to remain anonymous, told Sebastian Daily. “My husband only stops at 2 gas stations, one in Fellsmere and the one on the corner by the highs school at the Dunkin Donuts.”

After her husband’s debit card was copied, the suspect then used it to withdraw $800 from the Suntrust Bank in Sebastian.

The withdrawals were made in two separate transactions of $400.

Gas station skimmers are external devices that thieves attach over a real debit/credit card slot at a gas station pump.

As customers swipe their cards into the skimmer, the device saves and stores card information immediately.

A pinhole camera is also used in conjunction with skimmers to capture footage of customers entering their PIN numbers on debit cards.

With this added information, criminals can commit debit card fraud and withdraw funds directly from bank accounts, as well as make fraudulent credit card purchases.

For this reason, it’s always better to use a credit card at a gas station rather than a debit card.

If a card slot looks different from the other card readers at the station, it might be a setup for a credit card skimming fraud.

Skimming devices are meant to be placed temporarily for a matter of hours or just a day. For that reason, they are attached using only double-sided tape, so thieves can easily remove them.

Before sliding your card through the machine, tug on the reader to ensure it is securely attached; skimmers will easily pop off with little effort.

In the photo, the suspect is wearing a Puma athletic shirt and an Atlanta Braves baseball hat.

Anyone with information about the suspect should contact Detective Miller with the Sebastian Police Department at 772-589-2207.

You can remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.00 by contacting Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-TIPS (8477).

Signup for the free Sebastian Daily newsletter for your chance to win free dinners and merchandise!

Copyright 2019 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.