MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It can happen at any gas station, anywhere, at any time. We are talking about credit card skimming.

They get your number and compromise your account when you slide your card into the reader.

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Recently, the Hollywood Police Department and the Florida Department of Agriculture checked all the gas stations in Hollywood.

“We went to every single gas station within our city and during that operation, we were able to obtain 10 different credit card skimmers at gas stations,” said Christian Lata with the Hollywood Police Department.

One of those gas stations was just down the street from the police department.

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There are signs up on the pumps now saying cash only, pay inside. That’s one way police and the Department of Agriculture say you can protect yourself.

“Some of the things they talk about are to use cash or to go inside the gas station to pay. Also, be observant of the machine, if it’s loose if the security tape looks like it’s been tampered with, don’t use your credit card there,” said Lata.

This is not exclusive to Hollywood. The State said they found more than 15,000 last year alone and card skimmers now aren’t like they used to be. Many times you’ll have no idea the pump was compromised.

“These credit card skimmers have become very elaborate. A lot of them are not visible to the naked eye. The layperson would not know this is a credit card skimmer,” added Lata.

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Click here to see consumer tips on skimmers, coronavirus, and staying safe at the gas pump.

Ted Scouten