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.
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