Always Be on the Lookout
Scams are no fun – especially when they happen to you as you’re going about your normal day. With today’s technology, criminals can obtain your personal information easier than you think, and many individuals have been the victims of gas station fraud. Here, our fleet fuel card company offers some tips on how to protect yourself:
Beware of Credit Card Skimmers
Credit card skimmers are a sneaky way to steal your credit card information. While they may look like ordinary card readers, they’re equipped with special technology that grabs the data off of your card’s magnetic strip and read it back to the installer.
To avoid this scam, check to see if the card reader you’re about to use looks different from the other card readers at the station. If it does, pull on it to make sure it’s securely attached; skimmer devices are usually only used for a short period of time and are often attached using double-sided tape.
Block Your Activity
If you ever use a debit card or a fleet fuel card that requires a pin number to activate it, be sure to cover up the pin pad as you type. While standing close to the unit may block your activity from onlookers, there could also be a pinhole camera you don’t see. Often times, these cameras are installed to capture your debit card activity and may even be paired with a skimmer device.
These cameras are usually placed above the keypad, so take a good look around for anything that looks suspicious. And remember that it’s always safer to use a credit card than a debit card.
Look for Electronic Pickpockets
Unfortunately, today’s technology lets pickpockets swipe your credit card data without even taking your card. If you have a radio frequency ID chip (RFID) in your card, it can be easily read with a device from several feet away and before you know it, your information has been stolen.
While you’re at the gas station, be on alert for people who walk close to you – these could be electronic pickpockets. You can also protect your card by wrapping it in aluminum foil or by investing in an RFID-blocking wallet that blocks the pickpocket’s device.
Note the Pump Stickers
First find the area of the gas pump where you insert your credit card. Then, look around to see if there are any stickers around that area (especially ones spanning across a gap. If you find one, check to see if it says “VOID” on it. If so, it means the hatch surrounding the credit card unit was tampered with.
Criminals usually implant their credit card devices through the front panel of the gas pump and because of this, some gas stations place tamper-proof stickers over the hatch.
Pay with Cash
If you can, pay for your gas with cash to avoid the scams that are associated with credit cards. If you need a receipt, see if the attendant can print you one. If not, keep track of how much you spend manually.