UPDATE: More Skimmers Found Across Florida
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced on Thursday that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has been sweeping throughout the Sunshine State checking gas pumps for “skimmers,” devices that capture consumers’ credit and debit card information.
Putnam said that inspectors have checked more than 6,000 gas stations and found 81 skimmers at gas pumps throughout Florida, five of which were in Brevard County. One skimmer was found at each of the following Brevard County locations:
Cocoa Mobil, 2201 State Rd. 524, Cocoa, Florida
Kangaroo Express # 6087 BP, 2455 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne, Florida
Melbourne Beach Exxon, 904 Oak Street, Melbourne Beach, Florida
7 – Eleven CITGO 32409, 2980 S. Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach, Florida
Sunshine Food Mart 191 BP, 1165 Sarno Road, Melbourne, Florida
“From Okaloosa County to Miami-Dade County, these skimmers are being placed on gas pumps throughout the state,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Our inspectors will continue to work to safeguard Floridians and tourists who shouldn’t have to worry about having their credit or debit card information stolen as they fuel-up.”
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recommends steps that consumers can take to protect themselves, such as:
- Pay in cash inside the store to ensure the credit card information stays safe.
- Check to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with. Many stations are now putting a piece of security tape over the cabinet to ensure it has not been opened by unauthorized individuals.
- Use a gas pump closer to the front of the store. Thieves often place skimmers at the gas pumps farther away from the store so they are not noticed as quickly.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection, and the money is not deducted immediately from an account.
- If using a debit card at the pump, choose to run it as a credit card instead of a debit card. That way, the PIN number is safe.
- Monitor bank accounts regularly to spot any unauthorized charges.
- Consumers who suspect their credit card number has been compromised should report it immediately to authorities and their credit card company.
The counties and numbers of skimmers found are:
- Alachua – 2
- Bay – 1
- Brevard – 5
- Broward – 9
- Charlotte – 1
- Citrus – 2
- Duval – 3
- Hernando – 2
- Hillsborough – 6
- Lee – 2
- Marion – 2
- Martin – 3
- Miami-Dade – 14
- Okaloosa – 2
- Orange – 4
- Osceola – 2
- Palm Beach – 8
- Pasco – 1
- Pinellas – 1
- Polk – 3
- Sarasota – 1
- St. Lucie – 1
- Sumter – 1
- Suwannee – 2
- Volusia – 2
- Walton – 1
Image Credit: Wiki Commons