Cape Coral gas station found with skimmers was in city compliance; what you can do to protect your money

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:
High-tech skimmers found at Cape Coral 7-Eleven (WINK News)

The owner of one Cape Coral gas station is facing a hefty fine after credit card skimmers were found in half of the gas pumps.

Cape Coral police investigated the pumps at the 7-Eleven at Skyline Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway Friday where the found the skimmers and said they’d been there for weeks.

Those same pumps had locks on them, meant to keep your money safe. They are just as they should be and follow city protocol—but that didn’t stop someone from putting four high-tech skimmers in the machines.

So, who’s to blame and who’s to say it won’t happen again?

When the gas station turned into a crime scene, CCPD hit owner Chris Gold fines and citations. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy.

“Why? Why am I being cited when my pumps are in compliance,” he asked.

“Compliance,” by Cape Coral’s definition, means locks on gas pumps must be unique. Gold says his are and Wednesday, CCPD admitted they got it wrong.

“The ordinance violation was voided,” said Phil Mullen. “The detectives determined that the lock on the pumps was a unique lock.”

So, Gold got his money back and he’s in the clear.

“I just want to get my extra locks on it and be done with it,” Gold said. “It sucks.”

It sure does, not just for him, but for the hundreds of drivers that likely swiped their credit cards at compromised pumps and whose personal information is who knows where.

So is following the ordinance enough?

We asked Gold if there was anything else he could have done to protect people’s money. “Um, no, I don’t think so,” he said. “They were saying these are Bluetooth skimmers so, like I was saying, you can be anywhere and someone can move some device in front of you.”

But what is in front of Gold and every gas station are the pumps. They’re there every day and CCPD says every station should be checking their pumps internally, regularly and religiously.

“If you visited that gas station, just call the bank, get your card replaced so if you haven’t been skimmed yet, you won’t be,” Mullen said.

The banks are pushing gas station owners to convert their pumps to chip readers which add another layer of security, but they don’t come cheap.

We asked Gold if he considered adding them to which he told us he’s already working on getting them.

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