SARASOTA, FL (WFLA) – Police officers plan to visit gas stations in Sarasota Friday morning to check gas pumps for sneaky skimming devices that have popped up all over the Bay area.
8 On Your Side has been on top of this issue after dozens of consumers reported the devices at gas stations.
The skimmers, which are sometimes hard to see, steal credit and personal information when a credit or debit card is inserted into a pump. Crooks have even used up-to-date technology to advance their illegal craft.
“The latest iteration of the technology is actually Bluetooth,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “So they don’t have to return to the scene of the crime to retrieve their device that contains the data that they stole from you.”
Officers plan to begin their efforts at Siesta Shell on South Osprey Avenue, around 10:00 a.m. Friday.
They’ll visit two other gas stations after that, where owners will open gas pumps and inspect the machines.
The Sarasota Police Department provided tips on how to stay safe at the gas pump.
- If something seems suspicious, notify the store clerk and pay inside.
- If possible, try and use gas pumps closer to the store. Criminals often tamper with outer pumps that are out of view of a clerk or security camera.
- Monitor bank accounts regularly to watch for any unauthorized charges and report them immediately.