The complaints piled up, unsuspecting customers at gas pumps thought that using their credit cards was a safe way to fill up with fuel. Throughout the East Coast, a gang of ‘legal’ Cubans, believed to be working for drug cartels, placed sophisticated “card skimmers” inside fuel pumps. Once secretly installed in gas pumps, these “skimmers” allowed the gang members to download a customer’s credit card information.
It is believed by federal and state law enforcement agencies that the gang’s trip started in Miami, traveled throughout the country, downloading the credit card information and either buying gift, or ‘yellow’ Visa cards at such stores as Walmart. Some of the credit card information was forwarded to an address in Nebraska. There, cloned credit cards, using the stolen information, were created. It is believed the vast profits from the skimming were then sent back to Miami.
The ‘skimmer’ devices were so sophisticated that gang members needed only to drive up to the infected pumps to download the stolen credit information via a laptop computer. It was then e-mailed to the Nebraska location.
At their prime, it is believed the skimmers were forwarding close to a million dollars per week to the Miami bosses.
Locally, gas stations in Macedon and Palmyra fell victim to the ‘skimmers’. Livingston, Ontario, Monroe counties saw multiple locations where secretly installed ‘skimmers’ did their work.
On November 1, 2017, the first reports of ‘skimmer’ victims surfaced in Macedon at the convenience store at Route 31 and Wayneport Road. The skimmers also popped up at a location in the Village of Palmyra.
Unfortunately for the Skimmer gang, but fortunately for police, the ‘gang’ went to use one of the stolen card numbers at the accompanying Walmart store, while the victim was in the store. “It was perfect timing,” said one of the investigating officers.