With the holiday season here, many of us will be on the road to visit family and friends—making many more stops for gas along the way (possibly in unfamiliar places). If you’re using a credit or debit card to pay at the pump, there could be some cause for concern. The U.S. Secret Service warns that some criminals are inserting skimming devices into the payment system at the pumps to steal your card information (to be sold and/or used it to make fraudulent purchases).
However, you can take some steps to protect yourself:
- pay inside, if possible
- look for a security seal or signs of tampering on the gas pump panel
- choose a pump within view of the station attendant
- if you have an Android phone, download and use the free Skimmer Scanner app to check the pump before you insert your card
- avoid using your debit card, when possible (could be used to empty your bank account)
- watch your bank and credit accounts for unauthorized charges
Do you have a story about an experience with a skimming device? Please share it with us!