Hernando deputies check 63 gas stations for skimmers

Sheriff’s deputies in Hernando are fighting fraud ahead of the holiday season.

They went to every gas station in the county looking for skimmers: Devices that steal your credit card information when you swipe.

They fanned out in nine teams on Thursday, hitting all 63 of the county's gas stations to find if any were compromised by credit-card-number-stealing skimmers.

"We like to give them the peace of mind to know that every time they swipe that card, that it is going to where it is supposed to be and not in one of these things," said Sgt. Scott Reak.

Of the 63 stations, only one, the Citgo on Cobb Rd. had skimmers on the pump. 

Luckily, deputies say it didn't have the capability to wirelessly transmit the data it stole.

"Their information is in good hands right now," said Reak, "it's in our evidence room."

Florida's Department of Agriculture says while 655 skimmers were found in all of 2017, 568 were found the first half of this year. 

While most were in South Florida, it's clear the threat persists.

"We knew on Thursday all the pumps were clean," said Reak. "If we find one after that, in the future, at least we know it is after that point."

Scarily, deputies say crooks don't even have to break the tape to get in anymore. 

They are now just duplicating the special key.

"People don't want to work for their money anymore," said one driver. "It is getting really sad."

The gas station owner that had the two skimmers promised to beef up security.

Deputies promise to do more of these sweeps in the future.