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Gas Station Skimmers

There has been a lot said about gas station skimmers – devices that take your debit card information at the gas pump. How does this happen? A crook attaches a skimming device, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, inside the gas pump. When the debit/credit card is scanned the information is captured on the skimmer. Sometimes a small camera is mounted to get debit card pin numbers being typed in.

It only takes 20 seconds or so to use a master key (bought online) to open a gas pump and install a skimmer.

Thieves get access to the pump by getting the keys from the attendant (usually paid off) or pose as a gas pump repairman. The most susceptible places are mom-and-pop gas stations. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if a skimmer is attached to the pump.

Me? I use cash.