Credit Card Skimmers on the Rise in Florida

South Florida gas pump thefts rise as scammers get tech savvy.

November 13, 2018

ORLANDO – The Florida Department of Agriculture found theft devices at 689 stations so far in 2018, despite enforcement from station owners and law officers. That’s more credit card skimmers found in ten months than were found in all of 2017.

“The people doing this are quite sophisticated and quite motivated,” said Patrick Traynor, a University of Florida professor who studies the devices, to the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s hard to think of what consumers can do other than watching their [credit card] statements.”

Most of these devices were found inside pumps, even those with high-security locks designed to stop skimmers. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the newest skimmers use remote technology that can transmit stolen debit or credit card numbers anywhere. Those numbers are then used to create counterfeit cards.

Anti-skimming technology is in the works, but credit card skimmers have been increasing for the past few years. Florida, in particular, experienced a spike in 2017 since criminals started infiltrating machines internally.

South Florida has seen the most amount of credit card skimming at gas stations. Broward County accounted for more than a third of the cases, followed by Palm Beach and Miami-Dade.

“The state is doing everything they can; store owners are doing everything they can,” said James Miller, a spokesperson for the Florida Retail Federation. “We tell them they should check their machines at least three times a day, and many are doing that. But it still happens.”

New Training for Retailers
Ready Training Online (RTO) has released its online training module for employees and managers, Skimming Prevention and Detection. This loss-prevention training module covers the definition of skimming, as well as the impact skimming attacks have on businesses. Through real-world scenarios, employees are shown the important role they play in preventing skimming occurrences.

The online Skimming Prevention and Detection training is available to current RTO subscription customers at no additional cost, as well as being offered through the NACS eLearning Store. Additionally, consumers can seek more information, including a preview of the skimming training, by visiting RTO's website.

NACS and Conexxus also offer convenience and fuel retailers the resources and tools they need to proactively initiate and maintain effective payment security procedures that help reduce the occurrence of skimming. For additional resources, visit convenience.org/skimming.

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