MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Three Florida men have been charged with identity theft and possession of burglary tools for allegedly setting up credit card skimmers at a Minneapolis gas station. Thieves use skimmers to steal credit card and debit card information for fraudulent purchases or identify theft.
According to the criminal complaint, a witness called police after spotting the suspects at the BP gas station on Franklin Avenue and 3rd Avenue S. at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. The gas station closed at midnight.
Asley Acosta, 27, and Roilan Garriga, 19, are identified as Cuban citizens with addresses in Tampa. Wilbur Armando Perez-Soca, 24, is a U.S. citizen from Tampa. All 3 men remain at the Hennepin County Jail with bail set at $200,000 ahead of initial court appearances Thursday afternoon.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce said it discovered 28 credit card skimmers at gas stations around the state this year during crackdown sweeps.
Skimmers at the pump: What to look for
Source: Minnesota Department of Commerce
Look before you swipe. Jiggle the card reader and check the keypad. Is it raised or loose? Inspect the pump for any signs of forced entry, including broken security tape, tool marks or scratches that may indicate tampering.
Any pump could contain a skimmer. Pumps at the outer edges of a station are the easiest places to install skimmers without being seen by the attendant. But pumps close to the station get the heaviest traffic and criminals may take a risk to get a bigger payoff.
See something, say something. If you notice any irregularities (especially someone who is not a station employee or an inspector who is opening up a pump), alert the station attendant.
How to protect yourself
Pay with cash or a card inside, or select credit instead of debit on the pump. If you use a debit card, never type in your PIN at the pump. Using your credit card will limit your liability to $50, while stolen debit card information can give the thief direct access to your bank account.
Monitor your bank and credit card accounts. Carefully review your statements and immediately report irregularities to your financial institution or credit card company. There is a limited time period to report fraud to avoid liability for unauthorized charges.