Credit Card Skimmers on the rise in Texas
Forget ATM machines, you need to take heed of the gas pump you slip your card into.
Thieves are targeting gas pumps more and more across Central Texas, due to the fact it's easy to do and harder for you to detect. Many pumps can be opened with the same master key that can be obtained online.
Click the map below to open an interactive map that shows you gas stations that have discovered skimmers recently.
Don't freak out yet! There are some things you can do to protect yourself.
Use Contactless payment option
If the gas pump supports it, use Samsung Pay or Apple Pay. These pumps are few and far between, but more and more will be brought online soon.
I personally use SpeedPass to pay at Exxon gas stations. It allows you to pay wirelessly and use Samsung Pay or Apple Pay and you never have to use a credit card in the machine. As a bonus the app has a station finder to help you locate gas stations that support the service.
Pay Inside with cash
This will protect you 100% from any type of credit card fraud
Scan for bluetooth connections
Use your phone to detect any bluetooth connections with long names of random numbers. This is how the thieves use to download the captured stolen data
Use Pumps Closest to the store
Most skimming devices are installed on the pumps furthest from the store. This increases the likelihood of the thieves not getting caught installing the skimmer or downloading the data.
Always inspect the pump
Last but not least, always inspect the pump. Most pumps have security stickers that cover the door that gives access to the pump's electronics. If the pump's sticker is broken or missing, move to a pump that has one that isn't broken.
Also check the pump for broken or loose parts or wires. that should be a BIG RED FLAG. Move along from this one.