Travelers Beware – Scammers Target Gas Pumps

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. 

Christopher Dill
Christopher Dill
Christopher Dill is the Special Investigations Unit Director at ICW Group Insurance Company. A Fraud Claims Law Specialist designee, he was a recipient of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association’s Investigation of the Year Award for his significant contribution to the successful resolution of “Operation Back Lash” – one of the largest workers’ compensation health care bribery schemes ever uncovered in San Diego County. Christopher has participated in over 30 criminal cases surrounding medical and legal providers attempting to defraud the Workers’ Compensation system. Christopher’s approach to insurance fraud investigations is a holistic one. From preventative education campaigns, to data analytics, to time tested investigative, and intelligence gathering techniques, it is Christopher’s belief that a multi-faceted approach to insurance fraud is necessary to a successful defense.

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