Punta Gorda to mull gas ordinance to protect drivers from skimmers, fraud

The City of Punta Gorda will discuss a possible ordinance to require additional protections at gas stations Wednesday.

Shannon Latimer, of Punta Gorda, said she worries about using her card when filling up her gas tank.

“Anytime you stop at a gas station that’s not 24 hours you run the risk of a skimmer being installed,” Latimer said.

Others, like Punta Gorda resident Richard Darrien, said he’s refusing to use his card at the pump.

“Until they do something about it then I’m stuck paying cash when I get gas,” Darrien said.

Each gas pump would have a unique locking device to restrict access to a customer’s payment card information as part of the new ordinance.

A gas station could also choose to install a special device that would shut off pumps when skimmers or other forms of unauthorized use are detected.

Some drivers said they’d feel more confident using their cards if the city moved forward with the ordinance.

“I wish they would because I’m a traveler and I use my Jet Blue card to gain miles and I’d rather pay n the credit card but it forces me to pay cash,” Darrien said.

It’s unclear if companies that don’t comply would face penalties as the ordinance is still in the discussion phase.

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