Florida agriculture commissioner, other leaders warn people about skimmer scams

Southern Broward County is hotbed for scammers, authorities say

MIRAMAR, Fla. – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried attended a news conference Thursday in Miramar, where officials warned people about skimmer scams ahead of the busy summer travel season.

Fried said she herself has been a victim to skimmer fraud.

"Not only are they finding the credit cards and using them here, but then they're selling them," Fried said. 

On Thursday, Fried and other Florida leaders hammered in the urgency of getting the scammers off the streets. 

In 2019, 600 credit card skimmers have been found in Florida.  

A new bill filed this year is set to tighten penalties for those caught stealing people's money and personal information through this practice. 

Quick, easy ways to avoid being a target include always inspecting the pump before you use it. If it looks unlocked or if the security tape has been removed, don't use it. Also opt to use a credit card instead of a debit card.   

"I'm using a credit card just for gas," one gas station customer told Local 10 News. "Because I'm afraid someone will get my information."

Skimming has been a huge issue statewide, but South Broward in particular has been a hotbed for scammers. 

"This is ground zero for where particularly fraud on skimmers is happening," Florida Sen. Oscar Braynon II said.   

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