Gas Pump Card Skimmers: How to Protect Your Card Information

6/16/2017

Remember when the only fight we had at the gas station was the price of gas? Well there’s a new villain called the gas pump card skimmer. It’s becoming much more common and we are here to help you stay protected.

 

What is a skimmer?

A skimmer is a small device attached to card readers. They are at ATMs, gas pumps, point of sales systems and other places where we swipe our cards. The device copies the magnetic strip information off of your card and sends it to the thief who then uses that information to clone your card. There are even Bluetooth scanners that allow thieves to download stolen data with a laptop while sitting in their car. Bluetooth skimmers are attached to the inside of a gas pump. They draw off the pumps power source and are very hard to detect. How can you avoid a skimmer at the gas station?


Look Around

Check for tampering and if it looks suspicious, don’t use it.  If anything jiggles or is misaligned, go to another pump. Avoid pumps that are the farthest from the store. Thieves choose those pumps because they are harder for the clerk inside the station to see.


Watch Your Account

Even if you don’t feel that you have been compromised, make sure you go through your statement or look at your online banking daily. If you see anything suspicious, stop by one of our branches and we can help you sort it out. The Marine Bank mobile app and online banking site also allows you to turn your debit card on/off, so you can turn it off to avoid more purchases.


Go Inside

Take the extra couple minutes to go inside and pay instead of paying at the pump. It avoids the threat of your information being stolen at the pump and really doesn’t take much longer. Plus, you can reward yourself with a candy bar because you are fighting against the bad guys and you are winning!


Unfortunately, no technology is 100% safe. The move toward chip cards have helped with fighting this fight. The EMV chip readers will be arriving at the pump by October 2017. The chip card has a higher level of security because it produces a unique one time token that a hacker can’t reproduce. If you do see something that is suspicious, be the hero and say something. We are all in this together!

Written By: Michelle Graven

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