SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. July 29 2017- A Sanford security company said it has come up with a solution to stop crooks from trying to rip people off at the gas station with skimmers, devices used to steal credit and debit card numbers.
Chris Gilpin with SignalVault told Channel 9 anchor Jamie Holmes that he’s developed a device that will sound an alarm if a gas pump is opened.
The alarm alerts gas station owners when someone opens the door on a gas pump to install a skimmer device.
The system also sends out an alert through an app to let the gas station owner know that a particular pump has been compromised.
“The pump can be inspected immediately afterwards and the skimmer can be removed from the gas pump before any credit or debit card numbers are stolen,” Gilpin said.
State investigators announced Wednesday that they’ve seen an increase in the number of skimmers found at gas pumps. Nearly 300 devices have been found in Florida this year, but that number is deceiving, investigators said.
“That doesn’t really cover the scope of how bad it actually is because the gas pumps are only inspected every 12 – 16 months, so there are hundreds more skimmers,” Gilpin said.
Gilpin said the bigger problem is the law. Florida only requires gas station owners to put red tape around the pump access panel and the tape is hardly a real deterrent for a thief.
Gilpin said his device constantly monitors skimming activity and although he's still in the testing phase, he hopes the state eventually does more to really pump the brakes on this crime.
"We can't stop these criminals from installing gas station skimmers. However, we can stop those skimmers from stealing credit and debit card numbers,” Gilpin said.
Gilpin will meet with state agriculture officials in a couple of weeks to show off his product.
He's been on the ABC show "Shark Tank," and has a similar consumer protection product used by a 500,000 people worldwide.