According to recent reports, credit card skimmers at Florida gas stations are on the rise. State inspectors have already found more credit card skimmers on gas pumps in the first few months of 2017 than in all of last year. For Florida consumers who are unfamiliar with credit card skimmers, they are devices designed to steal debit and credit card information. They fit over payment card slots on gas pumps, and most of them are very hard to detect. Some skimmers have wireless connectivity to allow thieves to record payment information via Bluetooth from a car parked nearby. There are even skimmers that can record pin numbers used for debit cards. So, all Florida consumers and anyone traveling by car in Florida should be on the lookout for suspicious-looking devices on gas pumps.
How Florida Fraudsters and Identity Thieves Make Money with Credit Card Skimmers
Data collected from recovered credit card skimmers in Florida tells a frightening story. Authorities report that, on average, the skimmers they found held about 100 credit card number each. Normally, based on past figures, every credit card number is used to steal about $1,000. So, fraudsters can potentially make up to $100,000 for every illegally placed skimmer.
On the other hand, identity thieves can take the information they gather from credit card skimmers and use it to create fraudulent credit cards. All it takes is the necessary data, a $359 card embosser, and a few blank magnetic cards. Armed with a fraudulent card, an identity thief can most likely inflict even more financial and credit report damage on an unsuspecting Florida consumer.
5 Steps Florida Consumers Can Take to Protect Themselves against Credit Card Skimmers at Gas Stations
Again, credit card skimmers are often difficult to detect at gas pumps, but there are preventive measures to take. Anyone using gas pumps in Florida should:
- Go inside the gas station and pay with cash if possible. This is the only way to guarantee absolute protection from credit card skimmers.
- When you have no cash, pay with a credit card instead of a debit card. This way you can at least guard your pin number. If you don’t have a credit card, run your debit card as credit to avoid using your pin number.
- Use gas pumps that are closest to the store. Typically, fraudsters put skimmers on pumps that are farthest away.
- Look closely at gas pump card readers. If anything looks remotely suspicious, move on to a different gas pump.
- Check your bank and credit card statements daily and your credit reports regularly. Keeping tabs on your information is the best way to catch bogus charges and fraudulent activity committed in your name.
Checking your credit reports also gives you the opportunity to find credit score damaging errors mistakes. Reporting these errors and having them removed is the best way to instantly boost your credit score. Request free annual copies of your credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you find any inaccuracies, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America. We fix flawed credit reports belonging to Florida residents – for FREE. We can also repair damage inflicted on credit reports by fraudsters and identity thieves.
The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let errors or fraudulent accounts on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in cases that are settled. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (408)290-3994 or sending him a message through our contact page.