Authorities discover high amount of skimmers across state of Florida in 2018

Posted at 6:07 PM, Nov 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 19:09:12-05

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Authorities want consumers to protect themselves from card skimmers found at gas pumps.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports that between January 2018 and October 2018, inspectors found nearly 1,000 skimmers at gas pumps. Their data shows the amount of skimmers is higher than previous years. According to their data in 2017 they found 655 skimmers, in 2016 they found 219 skimmers, and in 2015 they found 169 skimmers in the state.

Interactive map: Gas pump skimmers found in Tampa Bay in 2018

“It’s crazy to me ‘cause everybody work(s) for their money, you know what I’m saying,” John Wallace, a Tampa driver, said.

Authorities said there are a number of things you can to do try to minimize the threat of a card skimmer stealing your information. State officials said people can do things like use cash or pay with a credit card inside the store. They recommend that you use one of the pumps close to the store and regularly check your accounts for purchases you did not make. 

“I very seldom use my card to pump gas because I hear the scams that are going on,” Bonita Wilson, a Tampa driver, said.

Wilson said she will do everything she can to prevent a crook from stealing her identity.

“People do a lot of things out here, you know, getting information off these pumps so…I don’t need them grabbing mine,” Wilson said.

For more information from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, click here.