Traveling this holiday? So are credit card skimmers

As Floridians are expected to hit the road for the Fourth of July, credit card skimmers are also expected to take advantage at the pumps.

The state Department of Agriculture says 276 credit card skimmers were removed from pumps in Florida this year.

"There was like payments from California, and I have never even been to California," said Tatiana Moranas.

Her card company told her information could have been taken at one of the pumps where she recently stopped.

"Because there was a bunch of transactions; there was like a three hundred dollar transaction on my card."

She's not alone.

"Somebody was charging all kinds of stuff on our card, and we got the information, and they said that they caught the person who did it," said Jimmy Keppler.

With more people on the roads for the holiday, officials say skimmers are more likely to take advantage this weekend.

"I get nervous because I don't want anyone to use my money and I don't know if it's still there," said Jacqueline Victoria.

"Anytime someone takes from you or robbed you or takes your identity; it's very vulnerable; it's like someone taking everything that you have," Keppler said.

Tips to protect yourself:

· Pay in cash inside the store to ensure credit card information stays safe.

· Check to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with.

· Use a gas pump closer to the front of the store. Thieves often place skimmers at the gas pumps farther away from the store.

· Use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection, and the money is not deducted immediately from an account.

· If using a debit card at the pump, choose to run it as a credit card instead of putting a PIN number in. That way, the PIN number is safe.

· Monitor bank accounts regularly to spot any unauthorized charges.

· Consumers who suspect their credit card number has been compromised should report it immediately to authorities and their credit card company.

— Source: Florida Dept. of Agriculture

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