NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Two skimming devices were found at gas stations in North Port on Monday.
North Port Police Department officers and inspectors with the Florida Department of Agriculture checked gas station pumps throughout the City of North Port.
Police say skimmers were found at two locations. Both locations were along Toledo Blade Boulevard. The first skimmer was found at the Mobile station located at 1060 Plantation Blvd. The second skimmer was found the Circle-K located at 1050 Bobcat Trail.
If you feel like you may have used your card these locations recently, you may want to double check your banking statements. If you do see something out of line, notify your card company immediately. You can also call police.
Police say you can often reduce your chances of getting skimmed by using the innermost and visible pumps. However, both skimmers found Monday were located in the middle and very visible. Your best bet is paying inside.
General Safety Tips-
- 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. Many stations are now putting a piece of security tape over the cabinet to ensure it has not been opened by unauthorized individuals.
- Try to 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 aren’t 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 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.
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).
Here is a list of gas stations in the Tampa Bay are where skimmers have been found, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.