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Credit card skimming alert for gas station in St. Pete | News

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Credit card skimming alert for gas station in St. Pete

St. Petersburg, Florida -- There apparently is another skimmer scam in Pinellas County, and officials say this one should concern everyone in the Bay area.

Two info-swiping devices were found at a pair of gas stations along Roosevelt Boulevard in St. Petersburg, and along Walsingham Road in Largo.

Customers, like Ashley Pelegrin, say they're concerned. And police say she may have good reason.

St. Pete Police said on Tuesday a maintenance worker found a card skimmer on a gas pump where Pelegrin tops off her tank: Circle-K Shell station at 10600 North Roosevelt Blvd.


Ashley monitors her money regularly, she says. "I'll probably keep an eye on it a lot more now just to make sure. 'Cause, yeah, that's not fun."

Tips to prevent losing money to a credit-card skimmer

Perhaps by no coincidence, Pinellas County deputies also found a similar device earlier this week at a Circle K Shell station at 13098 Walsingham Road in Largo.

"This could be the tip of the iceberg at this point. We just really don't know how many are out there," said Sgt. Mike Puetz with the St. Petersburg police.

"We know about the two cases right now, but that would suggest to us there are more out there we just don't know about.," Puetz said.

Police say if you see wires sticking out of a card slot, or if it appears loose or damaged, don't use it. Also, if you see tape or tape residue -- or if the card reader looks out of place, perhaps off-color from the rest of the machine -- alert the gas station clerk right away.

"And it seems like we'll have situations where these will go a way for a period of time and then they'll come back," Puetz said.

Shell issued a skimmer warning in five Florida cities in May of this year, including Sarasota.

300 credit cards compromised at Pasco gas station

It's also good advice, say investigators, to check your financial accounts regularly and contact your bank or credit card company immediately if there has been any suspicious activity.

Police say there's clear evidence this has been going on for awhile in St. Petersburg.

Law enforcement also got a call Tuesday from a man who had purchased gas at the Shell station on Roosevelt Boulevard on June 20. Four days later, he told them, he spotted an unauthorized $1,000 charge on his account.


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