Duo arrested in Canandaigua for multi-county gas station card skimming scheme
Palmyra, N.Y. (WHAM) - Two men were arrested and charged in connection with a gas station card skimming scheme in multiple counties, including Wayne County.
According to our news partners at the Times of Wayne County, the manager of Crosby's on E. Main Street in Palmyra found a skimmer device installed on one of its pumps last month. He determined it had captured information for at least two weeks in the month of November.
State Police investigators said at least 20 people who used the pump at the store in Palmyra became victims. One woman from Palmyra said her credit card was used in places as far away as Arizona.
The report states the device inside the pump recorded the credit card data, transferred it to a phone via Bluetooth, then into a machine that put the information onto a blank credit card.
This week, the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office caught two men illegally installing the skimmers into gas pumps at a Kwik Fill station on Route 332 overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.
Raciel Diaz-Diaz, 25, and Carlos Cabrera Quintero, 27, were charged with attempted criminal possession of a forged instrument with the intent to use. Both were arraigned and remanded to the Ontario County Jail on $30,000 cash or $60,000 bond.
Police in Macedon filed warrants for Diaz-Diaz and Cabrera Quintero's arrests. Both men were seen on surveillance video using the stolen credit card numbers at the Walmart in Macedon. The Times of Wayne County reports they were using the stole information to buy merchandise in Walmart stores in Albion and Central Square.
Both men are believed to be part of a larger organization comprised of two groups. One group steals the numbers, loads them onto cards and purchases merchandise themselves. The other group steals the numbers and sells them to others to use.
The Ontario County Sheriff's Office said they are working with other police agencies in Wayne and Monroe Counties. Cabrera-Quintero and Diaz-Diaz, who are from Texas and Nebraska respectively, are believed to be connected to several skimming devices recently discovered on gas pumps in all three counties.
Gregory Farkas is a manager at a car wash across the street from the Kwik Fill.
“I will go inside now with gas stations and what not, just to be safe. I don't want that to happen again. They shut down your credit cards, and if it's a holiday weekend, you're out of luck,” said Farkas.
In this case, deputies say the skimmer on the pump transmits credit card data via Bluetooth technology.
Some drivers tell 13WHAM this growing trend has them using gift cars at the pump.
“You do pay for it ahead of time, but there's no way of scamming inside, and it's the safer way to do it,” said driver John Miller.
Keith Cutri, a former FBI agent, says bank email alerts keep him safe.
“When you do go to a gas station and fill up, immediately you get an email location of where your credit card was used. If your credit card was used somewhere else, you're gonna get an email immediately, and you can get on the phone and notify your bank if something's amiss," said Cutri.
Here is more information about how you can be on the lookout for these devices at gas stations from the Ontario County Sheriff's Office: