Investigation into bluetooth skimming at gas stations in Pinellas County

Posted at 4:45 PM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 16:45:27-04

Pinellas County detectives are investigating a half dozen cases of gas pump skimming -- but, through a more advanced way of getting credit card information. 

Public Information Officer Kavontae Smalls said Tuesday that the devices are being placed in various gas locations around the county, but investigators don't have which locations as of yet. 

Criminals are able to put skimmers inside gas pumps, even ATMs by breaking into them -- once inside they install a chip where they can copy your numbers and make a duplicate card. 

Now, instead of thieves returning to the gas station to retrieve the numbers though, they can do it remotely through Bluetooth technology. 

Most times, a suspect can sit in an adjacent parking lot with their computer instantly downloading your information. They can even do it from the comfort of their own home too. 

Detectives have been able to locate six victims so far, but fear there may be more. 

Smalls said the common trend for all these cases is a suspect is using the duplicated credit cards at Publix locations around Pinellas County. 

As of right now, detectives need more to time to track down what locations were the original source of the skimmers.

The best advice -- use cash or pay with your credit card inside with a clerk. 

They are investigating several possible suspects.