(April 2, 2019)- Cape Coral was plagued with credit card skimmers at gas pumps in 2017 and 2018 but a City Ordinance has changed that drastically in a positive manner.

A report showed that there were 81 skimmers located in SWFL in 2017 and Cape Coral had its fair share unfortunately. There were 11 cases in each year of 2017 and 2018. So far in 2019 there has only been one. This is an immense change, so what happened?

On March 5, 2018 the Cape Coral City Council unanimously passed a Retail Gas Pump Security Measures ordinance, contained under Chapter 12-8, which went into effect in May 2018. The ordinance was presented by Chief David Newlan who explained that the ordinance requires the businesses to implement more safeguards to deter the criminal element from placing skimmers on the gas pumps.

As part of the ordinance, the business has to install a device or system that will render the gas pump, or the scanning device in the gas pump, inoperable if there is an unauthorized opening of the gas pump panel. Or a device or system that encrypts the customer payment card information in the scanning device. It is up to the business to choose and purchase which option for the security measure they wished to use.

Cape Coral was the first municipality to put into place an ordinance of this type in Southwest Florida. The implementation of the ordinance and security measures had such a dramatic decline in skimming devices in Cape Coral that it drew the attention of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). This region, which encompasses nine counties, had a 50% reduction in the gas station credit card skimming devices. Because of these accomplishments some other local areas have created the same type of ordinance and FDLE is making a recommendation to Tallahassee for this to be put into effect state wide. 

The only way to completely stop the use of technology to “steal” credit card information is to pay for everything in cash but this was a huge step in the right direction!

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CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341