TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida consumers filling up at the gas pump may have had their credit card information stolen.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Thursday that a sweep of more than 6,000 gas stations led to the discovery of "skimmers" in nearly 80 locations. The devices enable someone to illegally obtain credit card and debit card information.
The devices were found on gas station pumps stretching from Miami-Dade County to Florida's Panhandle. The sweep began in early March and is ongoing, officials said.
The following gas stations were found with skimmers in the Central Florida area:
- Cocoa Mobil, 2201 State Rd. 524, Cocoa, FL – 1 skimmer
- Kangaroo Express # 6087 BP, 2455 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne, FL – 1 skimmer
- Melbourne Beach Exxon, 904 Oak Street, Melbourne Beach, FL – 1 skimmer
- 7 – Eleven CITGO 32409, 2980 S. Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach, FL – 1 skimmer
- Sunshine Food Mart 191 BP, 1165 Sarno Road, Melbourne, FL– 1 skimmer
- Park Qwik King Food Store, 2400 SE 36th Ave, Ste 101, Ocala, FL – 1 skimmer
- Kangaroo #2120, 14870 S. US Highway 441, Summerfield, FL – 1 skimmer
- Mobil Mart # 46659, 203 N. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, FL – 1 skimmer
- 7–Eleven # 35825, 10254 Curry Ford Rd, Orlando, FL – 2 skimmers
- Macon Parkway CITGO, 20733 Macon Parkway, Orlando FL – 1 skimmer
- 7- Eleven # 34867/ Mobil, 2101 Old Canoe Creek Rd., Saint Cloud, FL – 1 skimmer
- Grand Food Store #3, 800 Cypress Hwy, Poinciana, FL- 1 skimmer
- 98 Sunoco #625, 3230 US Highway 98 N, Lakeland, FL – 1 skimmer
- Lakeland Exxon, 4655 N. Socrum Loop Rd, Lakeland, FL- 1 skimmer
- Scenic CITGO, 800 N Scenic Hwy, Lake Wales, FL- 1 skimmer
- Sunoco # 0041-8012/ CO-OP 2739, 1546 W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, FL – 1 skimmer
- SNS Quik Mart, 1537 Ridgewood Ave., Holly Hill, FL – 1 skimmer
- Circle K LLC- 22 E C 470, Lake Panasoffkee, FL- 1 skimmer
Click here for a full list of affected gas stations statewide.
Officials also released the following tips to protect yourself from skimmers:
- 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.
Most were found in South Florida. But Putnam said in an interview that people should not assume they are safe just because they live in a rural area.
Putnam said that the information about the "skimmers" was being given to law-enforcement authorities to investigate. He said that his office would continue to sweep through gas stations.
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