TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Nearly 10 more skimmers were found in Pasco County this week, putting consumers on edge. 8 On Your Side is keeping track of where skimmers have been found so far in 2019.
Pasco deputies are urging people who believe their information has been compromised to contact their bank or credit card company and notify them of the potential data breach. If any suspicious charges are found, you should contact the sheriff’s office.
But the issue of skimmers in Tampa Bay goes far beyond the nine found yesterday in Pasco.
Florida has the highest fraud rate per capita in America with $84 million in fraud losses last year – an average of $400 lost per consumer.
According to the office of Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Bureau of Standards inspects 464,000 gas pumps at 19,000 gas stations, truck stops and marinas every year and has removed 2,400 skimmers since 2015.
In a statement released last month, Fried’s office said that in just the first six-and-a-half months of 2019, the state found nearly 900 skimmers in Florida.
Fried said about 100 of the skimmers were found in the Tampa Bay area.
You can see many of the locations where skimmers have been found so far this year on the map below:
Skimmers found in Tampa Bay in 2019
Fried, along with other state legislators, has worked to enforce bipartisan legislation — Senate Bill 1652 and House Bill 1239 — to establish the Consumer Fraud, Identity Theft and Skimmer Working Group.
The task force — made of Cabinet officials, the House and Senate, fraud victims, credit card companies representatives, consumer advocates representatives and industry groups — works to find solutions to tracking and stopping skimmers.
“One of my top priorities is elevating consumer services to the forefront of our department – that includes protecting Floridians from scams, fraud, abuse, and theft,” Fried said in a statement.