Avoid credit card skimmers this summer

Avoiding credit card skimmers this summer
Avoiding credit card skimmers this summer
Posted at 5:40 PM, Jul 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 15:11:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - More people are heading to gas pumps, which is where skimmers could steal your financial information.

So far this year, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has found and removed 276 skimmers from pumps.

What do local officials recommend to avoid skimmers?

Identify theft is one of the last things people want to deal with while traveling, and the Leon County Sheriff's Office has some tips on making sure your information is safe no matter the time of year.

One of the simplest ways is to avoid swiping any cards when you pay for gas. Use cash instead, but if you do use a card, it's best to pay with a credit card rather than a debit card.

The sheriff's office says unauthorized charges will start piling up if your information has been compromised, but there are plenty of ways to protect yourself.

"If anything looks out of the ordinary, and it looks odd -- or it feels odd or something like that -- you need to obviously notify the custodian at the convenience store. But even before that, if you don't even want to get involved in that, pay inside. Pay with cash," said Lieutenant Grady Jordan from the Leon County Sheriff's Office. "Once they get the card and they get the information off the card, then if it's a credit card or debit card, then you will see charges run up in other places."

The state's new anti-skimming law went into effect in October, which increases the penalty for the crime.

The department says it regularly inspects the state's nearly 8 thousand gas stations, and analyzes samples to make sure consumers get quality products at a fair measure.