Protect yourself from gas pump credit card skimmers

PHOENIX - Technology is helping thieves more easily target credit card information from gas stations. 

MAP: Credit card skimmers found at Arizona gas stations in 2017

Michael Cocanower with itSynergy says thieves previously used Bluetooth to get the data from skimmers, which meant they had to physically return to the gas station.

“Today what they're doing is putting cellphone chips in the skimmers,” said Cocanower. “So literally, within seconds of you scanning your card at a gas pump, your card data could be across the world somewhere and somebody could be producing a fake card.” 

Thieves install the skimmers inside gas pump units, often times using a master key. 

To fight back, several gas stations are putting stickers on all of the openings on gas pumps to make it tougher for thieves. 

However, Consumerist.com is finding fake pump security stickers for sale on the internet. Thieves could place the sticker back on the pump’s lock after installing a skimmer, says Consumerist. 

Experts offer the following tips:

  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card at pumps
  • Use the pump closest to store window
  • Pay inside especially if the station is right off the freeway — where criminals can easily come and go. 
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