Department of Ag checking for skimmers
The Florida State Department of Agriculture has inspectors checking hundreds of gas stations around the state for Skimmers. They are concentrating on popular spring break areas.
In the latest sweep 8 skimmers were discovered. Half of them were in Pinellas County. Two were in St Pete and one in Largo.
Two Skimmers turned up in West Palm Beach. One each in Pompano Beach and Cocoa Beach.
This week 2 were found at the Chevron Station on Gatlin Blvd in Port St Lucie.
Skimmers in PSL
PSLPD went to the Chevron Gas Station for reports that two suspects had just installed skimmers on two pumps on March 7. It was located at located at 1924 SW Gatlin Boulevard.
A maintenance worker saw two suspects by a U-Haul truck messing with the pumps. After the suspects left the area the maintenance worker checked the pump and found the skimmers. Suspect are described as Latino males 5’6″-5’7″ and one had a 5 O’clock shadow on his face.
Police processed the scene and noticed that the suspects did not break the tamper seal, rather they used a drill to remove the screws to open up the pumps.
PSLPD is asking if you have any information on this case call PSLPD at (772) 871-5001 or if you see something suspicious at gas pumps to call 9-1-1.
- To totally avoid becoming a skimming victim at the pump, use cash when you buy gas, which also should knock down the price per gallon you’ll pay.
- Use a credit card rather than a debit card at the gas pump, and preferably one that provides an attractive cash-back rate for gas.
- if you must use a debit card, never type in your PIN. Instead, select the option on the screen that allows you to have your debit card purchase processed as a credit card transaction. The purchase still is debited from your checking account, but you won’t need to enter your PIN, which is what the bad guys need to withdraw cash from your account at an ATM.
- Monitor your bank and credit card accounts regularly to spot unauthorized charges or cash withdrawals and report them immediately. Under federal law, delays in reporting fraudulent transactions can increase your liability for losses. For more details on your legal liability for fraud-related losses on credit and debit cards, see this helpful advice from the Federal Trade Commission
Some gas stations are beginning to upgrade to pumps that have payment terminals equipped with antitampering devices. This change is only occurring gradually because upgrades can cost $4,000 to $12,000 per pump.
Gas stations should no be enticing people to pay with a method that put’s their credit cards in jeopardy.
If the state of Florida had a program to assist Gas Station owners to install anti tampering devices it would probably cost less in the future.
I sent this message to the Department of Ag:
I’m working on an article on skimmers and I see there is technology to prevent this. Wouldn’t it be less money to assist gas stations to install these on at least the least visible tanks? Also please ask gas stations not to make the price less on using our pin numbers. This will cause our money to be stolen. At least put a reminder at the pump.
You can too: http://app2.freshfromflorida.com/contact/
Do it! Lets be preventive instead of reactive.