Clearwater Police are conducting a fraud investigation after a new kind of skimmer was found on a gas pump at a local convenience store.
Police officers and detectives responded to the 7-Eleven at 205 N. Belcher Road this morning after store employees were unable to open one of the pumps. When it finally was opened, police found a new high-tech version of a skimmer that had not been previously seen in Clearwater. The skimmer was Bluetooth-equipped, allowing the suspect or suspects to sit nearby and gather card information without ever having to visit the pump again.
It is thought the device had been in place at least a week.
Detectives are urging anyone who may have purchased gas at Pump 9 to closely watch their bank and credit card statements. Fraudulent charges could pop up at any time – now or in the future. Canceling a credit card if you used that pump would be the best idea, police say.
To protect yourself, detectives say, it is best to use a credit card instead of a debit card when making gasoline purchases. They also recommend looking for the tape that seals the pumps, though that is not 100 percent a sign the pump has not been tampered with. Paying for gas inside the store is more safe than paying at the pump. If you can pay with cash inside, that is always the best recommendation.
Anyone with information on the 7-Eleven fraud case should call Clearwater Police at 727-562-4242.