8 skimmers found in gas pumps across Palm Beach county

8 skimmers found in gas pumps across Palm Beach county

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The state of Florida is cracking down on thieves looking to steal your information at the pump.

They're targeting skimming devices, and many of the ones they found are right here in Palm Beach county.These skimmers are small, and not always seen.

They can be found outside of the pump, but nowadays thieves are putting them inside as well.

In a sweep of 6,000 gas stations state wide, officials found 81 skimmers.

"I know it's hard times and everything, but there's better ways of finding and getting money," says resident Jessica Woods.

Out of those 81 skimmers found, 8 were here in Palm Beach County - including one at a BP in Wellington and one at a Shell on Forrest Hill Boulevard.

9 were found in Broward county, 3 in Martin, and one in St. Lucie.

No skimmers were found in Indian River or Okeechobee counties.

Considering what is out there, gas customer Julia Willis here has one rule.

"If I can't use cash, I'm not buying," she says. "I don't trust them, I don't trust using my card at all."

Willis says with her financial situation, one data breach would be devastating.

"I'm on a fixed income, and I can't afford that."

Experts suggest several measures to keep your information safe.

  • Examine the gas pump dispenser cabinet and make sure it's closed before you pump.
  • Use a pump closer to the front of the store - thieves tend to put skimmers on pumps closer to the back of the gas station so they're not discovered as quickly.
They also say if you have to use plastic - use a credit card instead of a debit card. 

If you have no other choice and you have to use that debit card, run it as credit instead - that way If there is an issue, your PIN number is safe.

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