Skimmer warning from state officials

- It’s something we all do regularly: get gas. But now according to the state Department of Agriculture, the number of skimming cases at gas stations have tripled in a year. 

To a credit card skimmer, nothing’s more alluring than someone paying at the pump. 

“With all the scamming that's going on, I refuse to ever use my card in here,” said Shauna Sterling, of Heathrow.

According to the state Department of Agriculture, there were 219 credit card skimming cases at Florida gas stations in 2016. But in 2017, that number tripled to 655 cases.

“Even though it's triple, it's sad but it does not surprise me at all,” said Sterling.

So far this year, there are already 568 cases, which is well on the way to surpassing last year’s numbers. 

But for every unsafe technology scare is a safe technology workaround. Skip the card. Use your phone. Apple Pay is one option. Most gas stations including Mobil, BP, Shell and Speedway have their own apps you can pay with. Often those apps also offer rewards points or coupons. 

Shauna Sterling avoids paying with her card at the pump altogether by paying inside, and she’s not alone. 

“I'm never going to go back to ever using the credit card outside ever again.”

“I always go inside and pay,” said Jeannine Fortune, of Sanford.

The only sure fire way to avoid skimmers is to pay with cash.

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