Consumer Tips For Gas Station Credit Card Fraud Protection

Credit card fraud at gas stations increases, but consumers can protect themselves

Shaun Plum
MoneyTips Contributor

Borrowing Credit Cards

Consumer Tips For Gas Station Credit Card Fraud Protection
May 13, 2016

While many consumers are concerned that their credit card information will be stolen if they make a purchase online, few worry about losing their personal information at a gas station. However, more and more credit card fraud has been occurring at gas stations in recent years. Fortunately, there are a number of things consumers can do to protect their personal information.

  • Know what a credit card skimmer looks like. These devices are actually placed over the real credit card reader on a gas pump. The skimmer then reads the card and saves all of the information. However, the card also slides through into the actual card reader, so the user does not realize their information is being stolen. These skimmers are normally taped onto the pump because the thief will remove them later. By pulling on the credit card reader, consumers can tell if a skimmer is attached.

  • Pay with cash. While it is inconvenient, paying with cash at a gas station is the safest option because no credit or debit card is involved.
  • Pay indoors. Those who need to use a credit or debit card can always pay the station attendant instead of paying at the pump.
  • Use pumps closer to the building. Credit card scammers are more likely to use pumps facing away from the building or farthest from the attendant, making it easier for them to place skimmers on the pump. The pumps that can be clearly seen by the attendant are typically safer.

If you would like to prevent identity theft, check out our credit monitoring service.

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  Conversation   |   9 Comments

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Carla | 05.13.16 @ 16:01
I always go inside now since I first heard of these skimmers. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Steffanie | 05.13.16 @ 16:02
We have had the skimmers show up in our area, so this article is very timely and helpful. Thanks!
Erin | 05.13.16 @ 16:02
Great information to have. I guess I assumed most of the major stations would have security cameras in place to prevent this kind of thing, but that doesn't mean smaller stations would have it. This is another thing I will have to keep in mind to protect my information.
Nancy | 05.13.16 @ 16:02
Thank you for these tips. I always use the pump pay system and worry about it.
Zanna | 05.13.16 @ 16:03
I've read several articles about the skimmers, but this is the first time I've seen the suggestion to pull on the card reader. That's a simple, easy thing to do that will help!
trish | 05.13.16 @ 16:04
I have switched to using my cc instead of debit at the pump. Feels a bit better knowing my cc has a fraud alert on it that hits my phone the minute somethings seems off
Jonathan | 05.13.16 @ 16:05
Best action is to go I side and pay, but not always an option.
Elaine | 05.13.16 @ 16:06
This has been a concern with me lately with all the fraud going on. We try our best to go to the one closest to the store.
Kamie | 05.13.16 @ 16:10
I have actually been more to paying inside now because the skimmers are getting better quality and less noticeable. These are great tips for anyone to follow. It is sad that this is what the world has come to though. People thinking they are self entitled to others' money.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 11.30.20 @ 23:22