Cops: Gas skimmers found all over Highlands County

Highlands County Sheriff's Office

HIGHLANDS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A rash of skimmers were found inside gas pumps all around Highlands County, the sheriff’s office said Friday.

Skimmer. (Highlands County Sheriff’s Office)

Between June 17 and August 3, deputies removed a number of skimmers from gas pumps at the following locations:

  • August 3 at the Citgo at 1310 W. Allamanda Blvd in Avon Park (off U.S. 27)
  • August 3 at the Citgo at 901 US-27 in Avon Park (across from Big Lots)
  • July 31 at Marathon, 2912 U.S. 27 N. in Sebring (across from Fairmount Cinema Square)
  • July 6 at the Citgo at 209 U.S. 27 N. in Avon Park (El Paso Tienda)
  • June 17 at the Citgo at 1070 U.S. 27 South (Lake June Road)

According to the sheriff’s office, these skimmers were installed inside the pump instead of on the actual card reader, making them difficult to detect.  Most of the skimmers were found after customers reported a problem with the pump.

“Before you pump any gas, you should always look at the security seal on the pump. If the pump has been tampered with, the seal should say ‘opened’ or ‘void’ or give some other indication,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said.

To avoid being skimmed, the sheriff’s office also advises drivers to pay with cash instead.  Customers can also use their credit cards inside the gas station, but if you must pay at the pump, you should use your credit card instead of a debit card, or else your bank account could be emptied by criminals.

Anyone with information on the skimmers has been asked to contact Heartland Crimestoppers at http://www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com or 1-800-226-TIPS. Crime Stoppers tips are eligible for a cash reward.

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