Fraud at the gas pump is a growing risk across the state.
During a statewide sweep over the last few weeks, officials took hundreds of credit card skimming devices off of pumps in Florida.
Employees at a gas station in Bradford County are well aware of the growing problem. That’s why they check their pumps twice a day and make sure nothing has been tampered with.
“I never use my card at the pump just for that reason,” said Elizabeth Amari, a driver.
Amari chooses not to take the gamble.
“Every one of them is supposed to have a sticker right there,” she said. “If that sticker says ‘void’ on it then that means the pump has been opened.”
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently completed a sweep across the state, finding 259 skimmers in just a few weeks time.
“I didn’t think it was that many, especially being that it is an old scam,” said Floyd LaFountain, a driver.
Since 2015, more than 2,800 skimmers have been found in Florida.
It estimates each one of those skimmers steals information from about 100 people before being discovered, costing victims an average of $1,000 each.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried worked with lawmakers this session to try and address the growing issue.
Two bills meant to crack down on skimmers didn’t pass, but Fried said she plans to see them filed next year.
In the meantime, Fried wants drivers to know what to look out for.
“When you’re at the pump, always check to see if it’s been tampered with in any way, and pull on the card reader,” she said. “If you feel uncomfortable, go inside and pay with a credit card or cash.”
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