JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two Northeast Florida gas stations were among more than a dozen around the state where inspectors found credit card skimmers while checking the stations for possible damage after Hurricane Dorian.
On Friday afternoon, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced it had inspected 250 gas stations around the state most likely to have been impacted by the storm. The state inspections sought to make sure fuel supplies weren't compromised by water in underground storage tanks and to check for skimmers.
Among the 250 stations, none had storm-related damage, and the state said only two had water in underground storage tanks. One had already identified the issue and was not selling gas, and the other had minimal levels of water that would not contaminate the fuel being sold. All other stations had normal fuel supplies and were open for business.
RELATED: Skimmers found in post-storm gas station checks |
CONSUMER INVESTIGATIONS: Agriculture commissioner needs your help combating skimming
New way scammers are skimming at gas pumps
Woman, nephew accused in intricate skimming scheme plead not guilty
How can people avoid falling victim to skimmers?
22 skimmers found at 16 Jacksonville gas stations in first five months of this year
In a news release Friday, the state said inspectors removed 15 skimmer devices from the stations. News4Jax requested additional information about where those skimmers were found. On Monday morning, News4Jax obtained a list of 17 gas stations statewide where a total of 22 skimmers were found over the two-day sweep.
According to the state, skimmers were found at Sam's Discount Food Mart at 5703 Timuquana Road in Jacksonville and at Pat's Discount Citgo at 2110 U.S. Highway 1 in St. Augustine. In each case, the state said security measures had been in place and security tape had been properly placed on the pumps. A "correction notice" was issued at Sam's Discount Food Mart.
In South Florida, the inspectors found some gas stations with multiple skimmers. Three gas stations had skimmers found on two pumps, and another station had skimmers found on three pumps.
"After a disaster like Hurricane Dorian, we work swiftly to ensure that consumers are protected at the pump, from fraud hitting their wallets to bad fuel hitting their gas tanks," said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. "While we're confident consumers should feel safe fueling up post-storm, we encourage anyone suspecting issues to report them to us at 1-800-HELP-FLA or FloridaConsumerHelp.com."
Since Dorian, News4Jax has learned a skimmer was found this week at a Shell gas station off Wells Road in Clay County. Fried's office has since given the gas station the all-clear. But she's still warning drivers to take precautions.
"First of all, cash is always best, and I know we are all so not used to carrying cash, but if you can pay with cash, if you can use your credit card inside so, you know, obviously, the machine has not been tampered with," Fried said. "But if you are going to use the pump, try to use ones closer to the actual convenience store so you know there are more eyes on that area. Make sure when you're looking there's no tampering."