Department of Agriculture, Satellite Beach Police Find Skimmer At Mobil Gas Station

By  //  October 13, 2017

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Mobil gas station on South Patrick, Jackson Avenue

Satellite Beach Police confiscated a skimming device on Wednesday that was located at the Mobil gas station on South Patrick and Jackson Avenue. (SBPD Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA – Satellite Beach Police confiscated a skimming device on Wednesday that was located at the Mobil gas station on South Patrick and Jackson Avenue.

The device was located inside the gas pump and was undetectable from the outside.

Police say the Department of Agriculture was doing routine inspections and calibrations of the pumps when the skimmer was found.

The device was located inside of pump no. 8 which is the northern most pump facing Jackson Avenue.

Skimming devices are used by criminals to capture your credit card/debit card information when you pay at the pumps.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SKIMMING DEVICES

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam provided some simple tips earlier this year to help Floridians and visitors avoid scammers using “skimmers,” devices that are placed on gas pumps to steal consumers’ debit and credit card information.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has found and removed 185 skimmers as of May 2017.

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.

Travelers can take the following steps to avoid skimmers at gas stations:

• Pay in cash inside the store to ensure credit card information stays safe.
• Check to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with.
• Use a gas pump closer to the front of the store. Thieves often place skimmers at the gas pumps farther away from the store.
• 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 putting a PIN number in. 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.

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The Florida Legislature recently changed Florida law to better protect consumers from identity theft at gas station pumps by:

• Requiring self-service fuel dispensers to use certain security measures to prevent theft of consumer financial information;
• Increasing enforcement authority against those who possess or traffic fraudulent credit cards;
• Reclassifying the crime of unlawful conveyance of fuel, which increases the maximum sentence; and
Increasing the offense level of the crime, which affects sentencing guidelines.

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).

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