Press Release - For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Office of Communications
Georgia Department of Agriculture Partners with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to Conduct Credit Card Skimmer Training
As the holiday travel season quickly approaches, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is working in conjunction with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services division to conduct inspector trainings surrounding gas pump “skimmers”, devices that hijack consumers’ credit and debit card information.
“As a victim myself, I know first-hand how disrupting this crime can be. We will continue to use the law and work with law enforcement to fight against this criminal behavior in order to protect our consumers,” said Commissioner Black. “Currently, our best options are education and awareness, and as we work to better inform our inspectors of the ever changing technology utilized to conduct this crime, we encourage consumers to stay vigilant against the potential dangers as well.”
The training took place Tuesday, November 7 at the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Fuel Labs in Tifton, Ga. Over 40 inspectors and fuel lab personnel gathered from Georgia to take part in this exercise conducted by two training officers from Florida, Mark Snyder and Michael Scott.
“In our continuing effort to keep our inspectors updated on new and emerging technologies, we are working in conjunction with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with the goal of protecting our consumers from fraudulent and criminal activity,” said Rich Lewis, director of the Fuel and Measures Division of GDA.
To date, 15 credit card skimmers have been discovered on gas pumps in the state, but GDA is continuously working to provide inspectors the necessary training to identify and prevent future unlawful activities.
GDA encourages consumers to consider a few steps that can mitigate the risk of identity theft while pumping gas, such as:
- Pay in cash inside the store to ensure the 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 so they are not noticed as quickly.
- 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 a debit card. That way, the PIN number is safe.
- Monitor bank accounts regularly to spot any unauthorized charges.
Consumers who suspect their credit/bank card number has been compromised should report it immediately to authorities and their credit card company or banking institution. Complaints can also be reported to the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Fuels and Measures Division at (404) 656-3605.
About the GDA The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the voice of the state’s agriculture community. The department's mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more information, visit www.agr.georgia.gov.