Seals on gas pumps, skimmers, jerks and ripoffs

I searched this site and see we’ve had discussions about credit card skimmers at gasoline pumps.

To review, crooks install these “skimmers” in pumps and they electronically steal your credit card information, unbeknown to you, when you buy gas.

That data can buy all kinds of stuff for criminal jerks, on your card account!

I keep reading (almost daily) that the number of pumps with skimmers is on the rise. Some are near my location in Florida. Yikes!

Police advise that it’s safer to pay inside, but I use a card so I never have to go inside.

Also, law enforcement advises to look at the seal (sticker) on the credit car device to be sure it’s not broken, which would indicate tampering. If there’s a problem you are to report it. Most pumps are labeled with a phone number for doing that.

Officers also admonish folks to check their credit card transactions regularly and carefully.

I checked last time I bought gas and found an inspection sticker straddling the credit card reading device and the pump front panel. It was not broken, great I thought …

However, upon closer inspection, it also was stuck only to the device and not to the panel! There was air between 1/2 the sticker and the panel. The sticker was old and could hardly be read. Apparently nobody has cared enough to look closely, or to call, or to respond ???

Do you still pay at the pump?

Anybody else out there in cyberspace having problems or seeing problems at the pumps?

Do you look for anti-tampering stickers? Are they there?

I think more needs to be done to end this nonsense and shut these jerks down.
Any thoughts?

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Some stickers will VOID themselves if tampered.

However, some jerks are making counterfeit stickers to fool us.

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There are also ones that stick on top of the reader, so the sticker would not be removed. I have not seen any yet but it is advised not to do a debit purchase just in case.

I dunno. I always use a debit card but I usually get gas at the same trusted place. I always say “no” though when the computer asks if it is a debit or credit card. Then I have to put in the zip code instead of the pin. No idea if this helps. Maybe the chip helps now. Seems to me you either have the card with the magnetic strip and chip or you don’t, and knowing the secret information should not allow duplication of card by someone. I think this is a problem for the card services to not allow a duplicate card to be made without authorization. Each one of my cards had to be individually activated so I just don’t see how stealing my info should do anyone any good.

I see all these “cover your keys” notices to make sure no one can see what pin you are entering on an ATM. The ATM at the credit union is a little maddening because the key pad is dark at night so no one can see what I do, even me. I’ve had to take a flash light to light up the keys so I press the right numbers. So I don’t know, maybe a finger print is the way, although I have a particular problem with finger print readers for some reason. I think it is a finger scar from child hood but could be too dry, too wet, I dunno.

Lots of reports where I live of skimmers. I have seen the security stickers. My wife’s card may have been skimmed but I caught the extra charges and had her card replaced.

This problem is FAR bigger with debit cards. Debit cards provide limited protection for the users.

Always use your credit card at the pump and always check your monthly statements. With a credit card, you can always dispute the charges as long as you don’t wait too long.

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I tried to use a pump recently at the station I normally go to and it did not work. Moved to a different pump and it worked. I went inside to tell that pump # 2 did not work. I was told that their new pumps will shut down if tampered with .

I almost never select debit at the pump anymore. Used as a credit card, they don’t have a chance to get your PIN and credit losses are limited. Some stations have gotten lazy and the tamper stickers don’t span the gap. So they don’t have to apply a new one when changing receipt paper.

Many pumps have gone to chip readers now around here. Much harder to steal data…

Actually going inside to pay is not a fraud avoiding practice. There was a news story here recently where a clerk had a fantastic memory and could look at a card number and security code and could write them down after you left. Then sell them later.

I never use a debit card, don’t see any advantage to them. I have twice had a problem with gas purchases. Once, a local station charged me with two full tank purchases in an hours tine that I got reversed, and another time, we stopped at a restaurant in Petroski Michigan and bought gas across the street. When we got home, we got a call from the credit card company asking if we had bought a weeks worth of groceries in Petroski the same day. We hadn’t. I don’t know how the credit card company knew the grocery purchase was fraudulent put it had to be from someone at the restaurant or gas station.

ALWAYS read your credit card statements.

I’ve never had a problem disputing a charge on a credit card. One bank sent me an e-mail, questioning an 11¢ charge: it was a scam that hoped you wouldn’t notice such small charges. They canceled that card and sent me a new one. They don’t want to be defrauded even more than you don’t, 'cause they pay. I have an automated service that sends me the balance daily, which I check against my records.

Chips do help. We have had those skimmers here in NH and MA also. Many stations are now adding Chip readers to combat it. I’ve seen one station which allowed me to use Apple Pay.

There are also entire front fascias that crooks put over gas pumps and any other machine that takes credit cards. They look exactly like a normal gas pump, including the tamper sticker. Unless you’re very observant, it’s hard to detect them. Here’s an example of one used on an ATM:

As you can see, unless you’re really familiar with that specific ATM, it’d be almost impossible to know there was a skimmer attached just by looking at it.

Experts advise that you grab various parts of the front of the gas pump and yank. If anything pops off when you tug on it, it’s probably a skimmer.

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^^ This. Whenever I pay at the pump, regardless of sticker status, I grab the card reader itself and give it a good tug/push. Might as well, I’ve got 30 seconds to kill just standing there anyway :slight_smile:

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Same here, never had problems with a skimmer

Although a hassle, you’re not out any money when someone steals your credit card info. The banks can fight it out to enforce better security. Now if someone skimmed my debit card? Huge problem since I won’t be able to pay mortgage, credit card bills, etc for awhile.

Have more than one credit card and more than one bank and you’re unstoppable.

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