New law aims to keep you safe from skimmers at the pump

Florida will soon require increased security at gas station pumps.

Starting Jan. 1, all gas stations must have not one but two security measures in place to prevent skimmers from stealing your personal information.

Lee County already requires anti-skimmer devices at the pumps, but now gas stations will need a second line of defense.

Three skimmers were found Tuesday at a 7-Eleven in Lehigh Acres. Thousands more have been found across the state over the past few years.

How are gas stations going to prevent ripoffs when we fill up?

“You think you’re just going to pump 20, 30, or fill up your tank and then you see the charge on your card,” said Vanessa Depaz of Lehigh Acres.

She has been the victim of a skimmer before.

“We actually found out because we went to go get a Pub sub and it didn’t go through for six bucks,” she said.

“We actually got a lot taken out and it took a while for us to get it back.”

Ed Marticak of Bradenton said that businesses should check for skimmers more often.

“They don’t check them enough, so that’s a problem,” he said.

It’s a problem a new Florida law aims to solve.

The new law requires gas stations to have at least two security measures in place to keep your card from getting skimmed when you swipe. Gas stations can use things like pressure-sensitive security tape or anti-skimmer devices, locks, and alarms; make daily inspections, or install a tap-and-go payment system that makes it harder for skimmers to take your money.

Are people confident all of this will work?

“I think they need to push forward on that because I’m hearing more and more about it,” said Layne Mansfield of Lehigh Acres.

“I think that the scammers are going to find a way to do it one way or another,” Depaz said.

For tips on protecting yourself and checking for skimmers at the pump, click here. If you suspect that a gas pump has been tampered with, contact the gas station manager and file a complaint with FDACS. You can file a complaint online or by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832).

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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