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Estero ready to approve safeguards against skimmers

Posted at 6:59 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 19:04:49-04

Another Southwest Florida community is taking steps to protect gas customers from skimmers at gas pumps.

At a workshop meeting Wednesday, Estero's village council unanimously agreed that individual locks - each with its own unique key - should be required on all gas pumps in the village. Similar ordinances have been passed recently in Cape Coral and Charlotte County. Gas station owners that fail to comply could face fines of $250 a day until they get the locks.

Across the U.S., thieves have been opening gas pumps to install skimmers on the card readers, letting them steal financial information. Estero council member Jim Wilson can thank skimmers for his own headaches with credit card fraud.

"This one has been replaced three times, and this one has been replaced twice," Wilson said, holding two of his credit cards. "The credit card company notified me that they suspected fraud was involved."

Wilson expects council will pass their proposed gas pump ordinance, possibly at their next regular meeting. After seeing posts on social media from people fuming about about getting skimmed at stations in Estero, he doesn't anticipate that any gas station owners in the village will fail to comply.

"If I own a gas station, I don't want that on social media, saying that the gas station...is a bad place to buy gas," Wilson said.