Men charged in credit card skimming scheme

December 21, 2017 06:14 PM

FONDA -- State police say two men from Florida rigged a gas pump in Fonda to steal your credit card information -- and they say there's no way even the most observant customer could have noticed.

Troopers think the men used a master key to quickly open up the pump, install a skimming device, and then planned on getting your credit card data wirelessly.

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State Police at Fonda arrested Yudiel Ceballos, 31, of Opa Locka, Florida, and Yuny Rodriguez Hurtado, 29, of Miami, Florida Tuesday night.

State Police wouldn't tell NewsChannel which Fonda gas station was targeted. However, troopers do say the gas station noticed its pumps had been tampered with on Tuesday morning. They called police. With the help of the FBI, troopers unhooked the skimmers. Then, they waited.

Troopers say around 11 pm, the two came back in a vehicle to use Bluetooth to get the credit card info wirelessly from the skimmers. They were pulled over. In their car, troopers say they found a laptop, other skimming devices, forged credit cards, and a gas pump master key matching the type of pump at the station.

Montgomery County has been dealing with card skimmers all fall. County Weights & Measures sent us photos of devices found in pumps in September.

"We've been aware since September of this year that several gas pumps have had skimming devices placed inside them," said Captain Richard O'Brien, State Police BCI.

Troopers think the pair has rigged other gas pumps, but aren't saying which ones yet.

They think they targeted this gas station. An investigator says all of the stations that were hit in Montgomery County, aren't open 24 hours a day.

He says opening a pump and installing a device can be quick and easy.

"We believe in some instances, master keys have been utilized. They are careful not to damage the pumps, so it's difficult to notice any tampering," said Captain O'Brien.

The Captain says since you can't see these skimmers from the outside, the best thing to do is monitor your credit card activity. If you're really worried, pay in cash.

State police declined to say how the duo got the master key.

Both men face multiple charges including: criminal tampering 1st, criminal possession of a forged instrument 2nd, criminal possession of stolen property 4th, computer tampering 3rd, computer trespass, grand larceny 4th, scheme to defraud 1st, unlawful possession of a skimmer device 2nd, possession of burglar tools, and unlawful possession of personal identification information 3rd.  

The duo was sent to the Montgomery County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. Federal charges are expected.



WNYT Staff

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