As motorists fill up their vehicles’ tanks for Memorial Day travel, they’re reminded that skimmers could be lurking at the pump.
So far this year, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has found and removed 185 skimmers. Thieves place the devices on gas pumps to steal consumers’ debit and credit card information.
The number of consumers victimized by each skimmer is estimated to be about 100 per device, with an average of $1,000 stolen from each victim, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Friday.
Travelers can take the following steps to avoid skimmers at gas stations:
Putnam worked with the Florida Legislature last year to change Florida law to better protect consumers from identity theft at gas station pumps by:
Consumers who suspect that a gas pump has been tampered with should contact the gas station manager, local law enforcement or the department’s consumer protection and information hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832).
The department regularly inspects gas stations and analyzes samples of petroleum products to ensure consumers are being offered quality products at a fair measure. For more information, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.