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Gas Pump Skimmers: Have you noticed a red tape/seal similar to the one in this picture at your gas station pumps? This is a simple sticker across the top of the card reader covering a key slot. If the sticker is torn, it’s a warning to users and indicates an unauthorized person has tried to open it.

This photograph was captured by a friend right after he pumped gas at a gas station in St. Louis, MO. Big mistake. Inserting your card at the payment point is not a good move if you see tampering on the seal.

Just the other day, NACS reported that approximately 39 million Americans fill-up every day, and fuel dispensers have become one of many targets for thieves looking to steal credit and debit card information by “skimming,” an aggressive tactic used to illegally obtain consumer card data for fraudulent purposes.

Here are a few pointers to help stay ahead of the skimmers.

  1. Look for obvious signs like something different about the credit card slot. Typically, the skimmers are stuck temporarily. If you find anything loose, do not use the pump. Report it to the cashier.
  2. Look for torn stickers or a tampered seal. Move on if it looks to be suspicious.
  3. If the area around the credit card slot looks damaged, do not insert your card. Gas stations periodically examine the pumps and have a sticker to prevent people from using their cards. Hackers might have tried to pry open the slot.
  4. Skimmers also install cameras to capture the pin numbers of debit cards as people enter them. It’s an inconspicuous pin hole that can be closed with one hand while inserting the credit or debit card with another.

For questions on data security and PCI Compliance, call 636-557-7777 or email security@omegasecure.com.