Inspectors sweep Kissimmee gas pumps for skimming devices

By Stephanie Bechara, Osceola County Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 09, 2016, 6:40 PM EST

State and local inspectors swept Kissimmee gas stations Tuesday to try to find credit card skimmers after four devices were found around Osceola County recently.

Athough no new skimmers were found, there is a heightened sense of awareness.

Officials said they be checking Osceola gas pumps more often.

“I don’t want anybody to get my information,” resident Paul Robertson said. "You think you just finished paying for gas, but you actually may have just paid someone else’s bills."

The problem seems to be accessibility. A universal key opens most gas pump doors. Detectives found missing parts in several pumps, which led them to think people are stealing them to create these devices.

“These people can quickly put them into the machine, and they can remotely sit in the parking lot and download information for it,” Kissimmee Police spokesperson Stacie Miller said. “They don’t even have to go back to the machine to get your information.”

“It’s not a skimmer, but that part of the cable was removed,” said Paul Julian with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Gas station manager Mohammed Rahman says he personally checks his gas pumps every morning.

“What I do every morning when I open the store is I make sure all my pumps are in good shape, that nobody has been tampering," Rahman said. "Once I open it up, you will see all the wires if they’re good or not,” he said.

To reduce the chance of your credit card information getting stolen by a pump skimmer, officials suggest paying inside of the gas station and to pay in cash. “I pay inside, and when I see people paying at the pump, I’ll tell them there’s a lot of scammers going around and it would be best to pay inside,” Robertson said.