Hess Corp. is alerting South Florida customers after several of its gas stations were targeted by "skimming."
There have been attempts in recent months to steal credit and debit card numbers at service stations in South Florida using so-called "skimmer" devices, Hess announced Friday.
"Criminals tamper with gas pumps and place devices into their internal mechanisms to try to illegally intercept and record customer credit and debit card information as the cards are swiped at the pump," Hess said in a statement.
The corporation said several Hess stations have been targeted by these illegal activities. As soon as Hess found evidence of such attempts, the corporation said it notified law enforcement officials.
"To protect customers, we continue to intensify security measures to help prevent future incidents," Hess said. "We also continue to work with law enforcement agencies, including the United States Secret Service, as they pursue these criminals. We want to ensure that our customers are alerted to the possibility that their credit or debit card information may have been compromised."
A security-savvy tourist who asked to be identified only by his first name, Tripp, said he believes he's been at risk of skimming devices before.
"At one gas station, it wouldn't work. It made me concerned that, you know, it didn't work when I took my card," Tripp said. "I worried someone messed with the machine so we actually went to a different gas station because of that."
Pumps at the Hess station in Fort Lauderdale appeared to have been fortified with a metal strip and bolts.
Below is a list of stations where Hess Corp. uncovered evidence suggesting that customer credit or debit card information may have been compromised:
- 5019 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach (Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. in pump 3)
- 4 N. Indian Rocks Rd., Largo (Feb. 20 at 12:30 p.m. in pump 8)
- 33600 US 19N, Palm Harbor (Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m. in pump 13)
- 3965 S. Congress Avenue, Lake Worth (Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. in pump 16, and Feb. 22 at 12:30 p.m. in pump 14)
- 14624 Military Trail, Delray Beach (Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. in pump 1)
- 2450 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach (Feb. 21 at 12:30 p.m. in pump 9 and March 21 at 11 a.m. in pump 7)
- 2577 Harn Blvd., Clearwater (Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in pump 8, and Feb. 28, 2014, at 4 a.m. in pump 9)
- 2023 US Highway 19, Holiday (Feb. 21, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. in pump 13)
- 4287 NW Federal Hwy., Jensen Beach (Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. in pump 1 and Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. in pump 5)
- 150 North State Rd., Margate (Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. in pumps 1 and 6)
- 2300 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale (Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. in pump 2)
- 100 SW Monterey Rd., Stuart (Feb. 27 at 8:30 a.m. in pump 1)
- 6840 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach (Feb. 28 at 10:30 a.m. in pump 1)
- 5798 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater (March 10 at 9:30 p.m. in pump 1)
- 900 E. Sample Road, Pompano (April 9 at 7:30 a.m. in pump 7)
- 15260 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers (April 10 at 7:30 p.m. in pumps 1 and 8)
Hess said it does not store payment card account numbers on its systems and these incidents did not involve hacking into Hess systems.
"We believe the information at risk is the data contained on the magnetic strip on a payment card, which includes the customer's name, account number and expiration date," said Hess. "We do not believe Social Security numbers are included on the magnetic strip."
Customers are asked to check their credit and debit card statements for unauthorized charges or debits and immediately report any suspicious ones to the card issuer.
Hess said customers should be on the lookout for any calls or letters from retailers or creditors regarding merchandise or services not ordered.
Finally, customers are asked to report any missing credit and debit card statements to the card issuer immediately.
Hess has set up a customer information line to answer any questions customers may have at 866-849-2790. Hess said it will also provide, free of charge, AllClear ID's Identity Repair service to any customers who suspect there may be fraudulent activity on their payment card account as a result of paying at one of the pumps listed in the days leading up to the date and time indicated. This service will help customers address any issues of fraud on their accounts.
For more information from Hess, click here.