Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Wednesday that will require gas stations to increase credit card security measures at their pumps.
Under the legislation (SB 430), gas stations will need to implement a secondary security measure in addition to pressure-sensitive security tape. Gas stations must also report credit card related security breaches to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services within 90 days of an incident.
Sponsored by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, the bill comes as state officials struggle to thwart credit card skimmers and other fraud schemes.
Skimmers are electronic devices that collect a consumer’s credit card information, according to a staff analysis. The information, obtained illegally and often unbeknownst to the consumer, is often used to make unauthorized purchases.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried voiced support for the legislation in April at a Hialeah RaceTrac gas station.
“Senate Bill 430 is an important part of increasing consumer safety at the gas pump, requiring additional security measures and that skimmers be reported quickly,” Fried said. “I thank Sen. Rodriguez for this legislation, and we’re optimistically working with the House sponsor to improve the bill.”
Thousands of skimmers have been discovered in Florida since 2015, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Noting that swindlers have the potential to steal roughly $1 million in credit card charges per skimmer, Fried offered a few consumer protection tips to Floridians.
She encouraged Floridians to visually inspect pumps for anything unsealed and avoid ones that are unlocked, open or are without tamper-evident security tape.
She also promoted the use of credit cards over debit cards as credit cards carry more consumer protections.
“Skimmers and data theft are serious issues, and we’re proud to offer guests industry-leading security technology. We continually work with financial institutions, credit card companies, law enforcement, and agencies like the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to evaluate and update security measures,” said RaceTrac Chief Financial Officer Karla Ahlert.