Credit card skimmers are on the rise at gas stations
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services report they have found and removed 276 credit card skimmers from gas pumps so far, this year.
Skimming devices are often placed on ATMs and gas pumps to record bank and credit card information of unsuspecting users.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provide the following tips to avoid credit card skimmers at gas stations.
Pay in cash inside the store to ensure your credit card information stays safe.
Check to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with.
Use a gas pump closer to the front of the station. Thieves often place skimmer at the gas pumps farther away from the store.
Use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection and the money is not immediately deducted from an account.
If using a debit card at the pump, choose to run it as a credit card instead of putting a PIN number in, to keep the PIN number safe.
Monitor bank accounts regularly to spot any unauthorized charges.
Consumers who suspect their credit card number has been compromised should report it immediately to authority and their credit card company.
“These crimes are often committed by crime rings that stand to make hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars off the crime,” says Buck from GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance agency.
So, how do they work?
The Palm Beach Post reports, thieves obtain a universal gasoline pump key that unlocks most of the nation’s gas pumps. A small device is then installed inside the pump’s cabinet.
Cyber security expert, Brian Krebs explains, “Most internal, modern pump skimmers are built to record data on a storage device that can transmit the data wirelessly via Bluetooth technology.” Some thieves can even receive the stolen information via text on their mobile devices. Once they have your stolen credit card information they often make counterfeit cards or sell off your credit information.