Virtually undetectable gas skimmer found at Lee County 7-Eleven

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FORT MYERS, Fla. A gas skimmer was found Wednesday at a convenience store on Summerlin Road, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.

The skimming device was attached to the card reader on pump No. 3 at the 7-Eleven on 20391 Summerlin Road, deputies said. The tamper sticker had been cut.

The store manager, Patrick Labbe, did not recall any issues with the pump five days prior to the day it was found, deputies said. Labbe and the gas pump inspector, Nathan Schuler, believe the suspect may have gained access to the pump through pump number four as it was unsecured.

Lee County Lt. Jason Masko says gas pump skimmers like the one found are almost impossible to detect.

The device uses cellular data and is attached to a SIM card, similar to the kind found on phones, Masko said. The device sends the victim’s account number, name and other information via text message to the suspect.

“As soon as they get that text message, they’re gonna try to use it right away,” Masko said. “They try to spend as much as they can right away before you find out, or before your bank realizes what’s going on.”

The device has never been seen before in Lee County, Masko said.

Law enforcement officials have this advice:

  • Pay cash for gas if you can.
  • Use the gas pump closest to the front door of the station. Employees are more likely to notice anyone putting a skimmer on that pump.
  • Stick to ATMs you’re familiar with whenever possible. That way, you’re likely to notice any slight differences on the machine that could tip you off that a skimmer is present.
  • If you need to use the keypad, feel around for anything that may be over it.

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