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State officials warn drivers of possible gas skimmers

Officials say cash is safer than cards

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State officials are telling drivers to keep an eye out for possible gas skimmers at the pumps this holiday weekend.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offered tips for drivers who are planning to travel this Fourth of July.

The department wants drivers to be alert, but more importantly be proactive -- use cash instead of plastic. The department said there's a way to use your card and still have more protection.

  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card. They have better fraud protection.
  • If you must use a debit card, run it as credit.
  • Use pumps closest to the store.
  • Monitor your bank accounts regularly.

 

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says more than 250 skimmers were removed in Florida, with an average of $1,000 stolen from victims.

On October 1, a new law will require gas stations to add a security seal over the area of the pump where these skimmers are being installed. The new law will also make the crime a second degree felony, increasing the maximum prison sentence from 5 years to 15.