You And Your Credit Card at The Pump


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most 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. 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

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi.

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.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Add to Favorites:
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.

Related Research:

Top 5 Cards for Travel from Our Partners: Summer 2018 – Expert’s Choice

Top 5 Cards for Travel from Our Partners: Summer 2018 – Expert’s Choice

Posted: February 12, 2018

The sun shines more and more each day, flowers are in bloom and you already feel how hot it is getting - summer is here. Summer holidays are almost here, and you are in need of dire preparation. You can lift in spirits and let CreditLand ... Continue reading
Cash Back or Travel Rewards? Here’s How to Decide On The Right Card

Cash Back or Travel Rewards? Here’s How to Decide On The Right Card

Posted: February 10, 2018

If you're trying to find the perfect rewards credit card, you might feel like you're drowning in options. There are just so many out there, and many of them look similar. This can make it tough to decide on a card. One thing people often ... Continue reading
Price Protection: Credit Cards That Will Refund a Price Drop

Price Protection: Credit Cards That Will Refund a Price Drop

Posted: February 8, 2018

Those who often find themselves buying stuff and then discovering that they could pay less for the same item they've just bought, will appreciate this credit card benefit – price protection. This is the least known and the most neglected ... Continue reading
You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!