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Southwest Florida communities take action to fight gas card skimmers

Posted at 7:16 PM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-27 06:57:10-04

More and more communities are taking action to keep customers' financial information out of reach from criminals - who place electronic "skimmer" devices on the card readers at gas pumps to steal credit and debit card information.

The City of Cape Coral passed an ordinance in March requiring gas stations to put a lock on each gas pump in the city. Tuesday, Charlotte County passed a similar ordinance to take effect in 2019. In both municipalities, gas stations that don't comply with the ordinance could face a fine of $250 a day.

Leaders in the Village of Estero will hold a workshop on October 3 to discuss whether they should adopt a card skimming ordinance like those in Cape Coral and Charlotte County.

Breanne Butler of Estero hopes the village council adopts such an ordinance. She's already had her information stolen by skimmers - twice.

"I've had two experiences since I've been down here," Butler said. "I just moved here two years ago. It's been difficult for me, so I definitely think it's a good idea."

Her friend GiGi Comana said that Breanne's experiences have convinced her to pay with cash when she fills her gas tank.

"I'm just kind of worried about (skimmers,)" she said. "We should have locks on the pumps. I wouldn't want anybody to have their card get scammed."

Collier County Commissioner Burt Saunders told Fox 4 that while no ordinance exists in his county requiring locks on gas pumps, he plans to introduce the idea to his fellow commissioners in the near future.