TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) — A sweeps of some Florida gas stations found some patrons may have had their credit card information stolen, especially in South Florida.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Thursday that a sweep of more than 6,000 gas stations led to the discovery of "skimmers" in 81 locations. The devices enable someone to illegally obtain credit card and debit card information.
The devices were found on gas station pumps stretching from Miami-Dade County all the way to Florida's Panhandle. Most were found in South Florida. But Putnam said in an interview that people should not assume they are safe just because they live in a rural area.
Putnam said that the information about the "skimmers" was being given to law-enforcement authorities to investigate. He said that his office would continue to sweep through gas stations.
"Our inspectors will continue to work to safeguard Floridians and tourists who shouldn't have to worry about having their credit or debit card information stolen as they fuel-up," said Putnam.
For those looking to protect themselves from getting their information stolen, there are a number of steps you can take including:
- Pay in cash inside the store.
- Check to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with.
- Use a gas pump closer to the front of the store.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card
- Monitor your bank accounts regularly
- If using a debit card, opt to run it as a credit card so your PIN number is safe.
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.