A recent article in Patch brings to light a situation that everyone should be aware of, especially with all of the holiday travel approaching:
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind to avoid ATM skimmers at gas pumps:
- Pay in cash inside the store to ensure credit card information stays safe.
- Check to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with. Many stations are now putting a piece of security tape over the cabinet to ensure it has not been opened by unauthorized individuals.
- Try to use a gas pump closer to the front of the store. Thieves often place skimmers at the gas pumps farther away from the store so they aren’t noticed as quickly.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection, and the money is not deducted immediately from an account.
- If using a debit card at the pump, choose to run it as a credit card instead of putting a PIN number in. That way, the PIN number is safe.
- Monitor bank accounts regularly to spot any unauthorized charges.
- Consumers who suspect their credit card number has been compromised should report it immediately to authorities and their credit card company.
AAA recommends inspecting the gas pump when you first get to it. Make sure the card reader looks like all the other card readers nearby, is firmly in place, and that there isn’t a small camera set up nearby. While security cameras are common at bank ATMs, you shouldn’t see one next to a gas pump’s card reader.