You And Your Credit Card at The Pump

Advertising Disclosure

Credit-Land.com is an independent, advertising-supported web site. Credit-Land.com receives compensation from many credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. Credit-Land.com has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » Research » Guides » Cardholder Benefits » You And Your Credit Card at The Pump

You And Your Credit Card at The Pump

By
Add to Favorites:

Before Starbuck`s there was one of these on every corner - no, it`s not a riddle, I`m talking about good old fashioned gas stations. Over the year`s we`ve gone from full-service cash-only stations to self-service DIY stations. And with progress comes distress. And many consumers are running into issues when filling up with their credit card.

Consumers across the nation are becoming victims of skimming attacks. Skimmers use a high-tech device to copy your credit card information, including the information encoded on the magnetic strip in order to make purchases they couldn`t routinely afford.

Criminals buy a device which is also called a skimmer and latch it inside or onto the gas pump. The device then stores debit and credit card information from every consumer that swipes at that particular terminal. Some skimmers also install a fake numeric pad or install small cameras to get customer`s PIN numbers.

The equipment is very easy to install and takes less than a minute. After the skimmer has recorded an adequate amount of data the criminal comes back to the scene of the crime and removes the device. The more sophisticated skimmers get the information in real time and have the data sent directly to them as it comes through. This information is used to make duplicate credit cards, which criminals then use to run up credit card balances.

Crimes of this nature have popped up in major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as smaller cities like Port Charlotte, FL. If you have a credit card, be wary of where you use it, because skimmers show no prejudice.

If you happen to fill up with your credit card at a gas pump equipped with skimming capabilities, hold onto your wallet, because you could be in for an expensive ride. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself when using your credit card at a gas station.

  1. Pay Inside. Even if you are using your credit or debit card, opt to pay inside. Inside offers more security, as skimmers rarely ever put equipment on attended registers. Be careful though if you try and get money out of the gas station ATM as those have been known to be hooked up with skimming devices.
  2. Check Your Balances. Always do this, even if you don`t suspect anything. Checking through your bank statements will keep you in touch with your purchases. If you see anything that doesn`t look right, call up the bank immediately. Many banks have fraud protection policies in place that will help you recover the money you lost from criminal purchases.
  3. Use a Credit Card at the Pump. If for some reason you have to pay tat the pump, use your credit card instead of your debit card. As soon as a criminal gets a hold of your checking account your money could be wiped out. If a skimmer gets your credit card information, purchases can still be made, but it isn`t deducting from the money that you earned. Bank disputes can take a while to settle, if a skimmer takes your debit information, you could be without cash for weeks or even months. Credit cards are a smarter option when making purchases in a questionable area. A Gas Credit Card might be helpful as well, as many of them offer cash-back or point style rewards.

Add to Favorites:
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.

Related Research:

How the Fed Rate Rise Impacts Credit Cards

How the Fed Rate Rise Impacts Credit Cards

By Credit-Land, Posted: May 25, 2017

Recently, the Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark rate by a quarter percentage point, as a result, you could see a rise of the interest rates on your credit cards by 0.25%. That was the first hike of the key rate in 2017 and the Fed ... Continue reading
Top 5 Credit Card Offers For Those With Excellent Credit

Top 5 Credit Card Offers For Those With Excellent Credit

By Credit-Land, Posted: May 25, 2017

Do you have excellent credit? If so, banks are actively looking to win you as a new credit card customer by offering some unprecedented deals. Although banks have been more careful about acquiring customers with questionable credit ... Continue reading
Interest Free Credit Cards: Pay No Interest Until 2019

Interest Free Credit Cards: Pay No Interest Until 2019

By Credit-Land, Posted: May 23, 2017

Carrying a balance on a credit card is wasting your money on interest fees. It is easy to avoid interest payments on purchase transactions by paying off the entire card balance by the due date each month. But what to do if you are already ... Continue reading