Scam Alert: Skimmers at the Pump
April 28, 2017 12:00 AM
For most of us, there’s no avoiding it: if you drive, you need to pump gas. And if you pump gas, you need to be aware of skimmers! Skimmers are malicious card readers that illegally gather data from a credit or debit card’s magnetic strip. They’re often attached to a real payment terminal and allow a scammer to steal personal account information.
- Poorly lit pumps farthest from the station and closest to the street
- Little or no video surveillance
- Out-of-date pump inspections (inspection overdue more than 18 months)
- Open or unlocked pump face (exposing the electronics of the pump)
- No tamper-resistant tape on pumps (many different sizes and colors and not every pump will have it)
Investigate/report to local/state police:
- Inspect the card reader and compare it to other pumps – if it looks different, report it
- Wiggle it – if it’s loose, report it
- Look for broken or missing tamper-resistant tape
Keep these warning signs in mind to protect your plastic – and your bank account – from skimmers.