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Tips to Avoid Gas Station Credit Card Skimmers

Last Updated

February 13, 2020

Written By

Guy Taddeo

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning at the  to be aware of some instances where thieves were installing devices at gas stations to read and steal your information off credit cards. Authorities across the country are generally seeing an increase in this fraudulent activity since gas stations will likely be one of the last to implement the latest in card security. The thieves typically will install a device that will record key personal information off your card as you slide it in and out of the reader at the pump. They will then return at a later date and retrieve the device with your information and that of many others. Detecting these devices is getting harder as thieves get more sophisticated.

Here are five basic tips to help you avoid getting caught in this trap:

1. Check the Security Seals on the machine. Are they torn, voided, missing? These seals have been put in place to show when the pump has been tampered with.

Gas Station Pump
2. Look at the card reader to make sure there aren’t any unusual attachments or covers on it that you will have to slide your card through.
Debit Card in Gas Pump
3. Be aware of your surroundings. Pick a pump that is well lit and in the sight line of the attendant at a convenient and trustworthy gas station. By using that pump regularly you can become familiar with the labels the station uses and the standard color of the card reader, so that you can recognize when something seems out of place. Criminals prefer to tamper with pumps that are far from the attendant and in darker shadows.
Gas Station
4. To be certain, your safest option is to pay inside. Sure, it takes a few more minutes to go in and pay, but it is much more secure.
Gas Station Attendant
5. Always check your monthly statements. These thieves are very patient and can hold your information for months before they sell it or begin to use it. Always take the time to open and read through your statements carefully and check to make sure there isn’t any fraudulent activity there. If so, reach out to us immediately and we can work on resolving that with you.

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