You probably have heard of card skimmers at ATM’s collecting account numbers for ID thieves. Card skimmers can also be found at gas stations. Just as with ATM’s, ID thieves may attach a device to gas pumps where you swipe your credit/debit card. Every time someone swipes a card, the device stores the account information held in the magnetic strip on the card. The ID thief comes back to collect the device and download the information.
Here is what you can do to protect yourself:
· Before you swipe your card, check the pump for anything unusual. Tug at the reader to see if it is loose. Make sure the reader looks like the others on the other pumps around you.
· Sometimes pinhole cameras are strategically placed to read PIN numbers. To avoid this, use one hand to make entries to the keypad as usual and use your free hand to cover the keypad from anyone seeing your entries.
· Use the pump closest to the cashier. This assumes that the ID thief will attach a device away from the cashier who can more easily observe what is going on.
· When in doubt pay the cashier with cash or with your bankcard.
If you see anything suspicious, tell onsite staff such as the cashier.