As gas prices continue to rise, Florida men allegedly hacked gas pumps to get pennies on the gallon.

Four Florida men were arrested for placing gadgets inside gas pumps that reduced prices to near-zero – a worrisome practice that officials believe will only grow as fuel prices rise.

The suspects allegedly inserted sophisticated “pulsators” into pumps that regulate price and fuel flow, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Pumpers could nearly fill up for free thanks to the gadgets, which reduced per-gallon prices to cents.

The scam was allegedly carried out at two different Circle K locations in Lakeland and Lutz.

On March 12, Rogelio Llerena and Yulier Garcia-Martinez were arrested in Lakeland while filling up an enormous gas tank.

man adds fuel to his vehicle with the price of gas displayed at the pump at a gas station in Orlando, Fla.The devices sent per-gallon costs plunging down to just pennies and allowed pumpers to fill up for almost nothing.AP Photo/John Raoux

Officials claim Garcia-Martinez used a remote device to control the pulsators.

On March 10, Yordian Diaz-Benitez, of Tampa, was arrested for stealing diesel fuel at a Lutz station. Two days later, Marlon Rosel-Rodriguez was arrested for attempting to install the device into a pump at the same station.

According to Ned Bowman, president of the Florida Department of Agriculture, rising gas prices have fraudsters salivating.

Bowman told The Washington Post, “These are criminal rings.” “I believe you will see this develop.”

According to Bowman, the schemers arrive at tainted pumps in enormous vehicles with oversize tanks and fill up on the discounted fuel before reselling it for a profit.

Marlon Rosel-Rodriguez and Yordan Diaz Benitez of Tampa. At the Lakeland location, they arrested Yulier Garcia-Martinez and Rogelio Llarena of Orlando.Marlon Rosel-Rodriguez, Yordan Diaz Benitez, Yulier Garcia-Martinez and Rogelio Llarena allegedly pulled off the scheme at two separate Circle K stations in Lakeland and Lutz

With Florida gas rates hovering around $5 per gallon and gas thieves able to fill up for pennies on the dollar, the practice hurts both merchants and regular customers, according to Bowman.

He stated, “It’s a significant thing.”

Station owners have been cautioned by law authorities to keep an eye out for trucks that are stopping at gas pumps for excessively long periods of time.

Station clerks are also analyzing their inventory outflow and income to see if any pumps have been hacked.

In a statement, FDACS Commissioner Nikki Fried stated, “With gas prices at record highs, fuel theft can further drive up costs for all customers.”

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