As we hit the open road for summer travel season, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns consumers to be on the lookout for credit card skimmers that are illegally attached to payment readers at gasoline pumps. A skimmer is used to steal the credit card information of unsuspecting customers looking to fill their tanks. Once compiled, that credit card information is sold off or used to make online purchases.
Over the past few years, you may have noticed security seals affixed to the credit card readers on gas pumps. These seals are a security measure to alert staff, and consumers, to a gas pump that may have been tampered with.
In addition to the security seal, travelers should watch for modifications to the card reader itself. A quick comparison of the readers on nearby pumps can help to determine if a skimmer may have been affixed to a particular pump.
Gas pumps are especially vulnerable to tampering by fraudsters because they are outside of the general visibility of the station attendant. If ever in doubt, paying inside may be a safer bet.
Lastly, make it a standard practice to monitor your credit card and bank transactions, alerting your bank and credit card company when charges don’t add up.
Hit the road with confidence this summer season armed with the knowledge of how to skip the skimmer scam.