OVIEDO, Fla. — A quick credit card swipe could be payday for the criminals planting skimming devices at gas stations around central Florida.
Investigators said it’s becoming a growing problem, with the most recent case at a 7-Eleven in Oviedo on State Road 426 that was hit this week.
On the same day police found the skimmer there, Florida lawmakers took steps to protect drivers at the pump.
If lawmakers have their way, it will be up to gas station owners to protect customers.
“The machines, I’ve actually tugged on them before to see if they’re loose,” said driver Greg Wilkins.
He looks for the red security sticker on gas pumps before he swipes his card, but sometimes that isn’t enough.
On Tuesday, Oviedo police issued a warning to customers at the 7-Eleven after finding the skimmer.
It was the same kind of illegal device investigators found in a Brevard County gas station on Monday.
And last month, Kissimmee police opened every pump in the city, looking for skimmers after a couple were found at gas stations.
A bill is headed for the governor’s desk which would force gas stations to install security devices on pumps.
It’s another crackdown after credit card companies pushed to install chip card readers last year.
“Every day that goes by that a business doesn’t have the chip reader in place, they’re really rolling the dice,” said Holly Salmons, president of the Better Business Bureau of Central Florida.
She said businesses are still rushing to upgrade technology, while officers say thieves rush to target the gas stations still using older swipe machines.
Investigators said by the time they find skimmers at gas stations, there are usually about 100 victims on average.
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