Unsecured gas pump in Oldsmar raises concerns about skimmers

OLDSMAR, Fla. (WFLA)- An unsecured gas pump in Oldsmar is raising concerns about skimmers.

The suspicious pump in question is pump no. 5 at the Mobil Gas Station on Tampa Road, which has been reported to the Pinellas Co. Sheriff’s Office twice.

A News Channel 8 producer stopped by the pump to fill up on his way home on Tuesday and didn’t notice anything wrong with the pump until his tank was almost full.

“I was halfway through pumping my gas and looked over and I’m like, oh that’s great,” said Daniel Woodrum.

He recorded video of himself opening the pump’s printer door. He wondered if it may have been tampered with.

“This is a serious problem,” he said.

Nearly a dozen skimmers have popped up at Bay area gas stations in the last six months.

Deputies say the pump is safe, but it’s the second time in five days, customers have complained about the same pump.

8 On Your Side asked the manager why it’s taking so long to secure the pump.

She said she’s taking steps to fix the door.  It’s lock is broken, so she taped it on Monday.  She said she ordered a new lock for the door, which should arrive in the next ten days.

“I did all my part. I ordered the lock for this one, I taped it, I put it out of order,” she said.

But there is a plastic bag over the pump today and customers are skeptical.

Since early 2015, The Florida Department of Agriculture has found and removed more than 430 skimmers across the state.

Here’s a list of towns where facilities were inspected and/or skimmers were found in a sweep last month:

• Panama City Beach/ Panhandle –77 facilities, 0 skimmers found
• Orlando area – 128 facilities, 0 skimmers found
• Clearwater / St. Pete Beach – 66 facilities, 4 skimmers found
o One Stop, Giant BP #109, 6151 4th St N, St. Petersburg
o One Food of Pinellas Inc. #23, 901 4th St N, St. Petersburg
o Quick Mart of Largo, 1990 West BAY Dr., Largo (2 skimmers)
• Ft. Myers Beach – 36 facilities, 0 skimmers found
• Daytona Beach/ Cocoa Beach/ Flagler Beach/ New Smyrna Beach – 75 facilities, 1 skimmer found
o Sunoco Food Mart, 5625 N Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach
• West Palm Beach – 51 facilities, 2 skimmers found
o Mobil/7-Eleven Inc., 3035 N Military Trail, West Palm Beach
o Texaco/Sunshine #37, 2274 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
• Ft. Lauderdale – 25 facilities, 1 skimmer found
o Valero, 1 N Federal Hwy, Pompano Beach
• Miami – 21 facilities, 0 skimmers found

In addition to regularly inspecting gas pumps, the department worked with the Florida Legislature last year to put in place additional safeguards against skimmers at the pump and increase the penalties against the criminals responsible.

The Florida Department of Agriculture is sharing these tips with consumers to protect themselves:

• Pay in cash inside the store to ensure the 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.
• 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 are not 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 a debit card. 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.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.



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