Why You Shouldn’t Pay At The Pump

Are you accustomed to pulling up to your nearest gas station and sliding your debit or credit card into the pay station at the pump? Well, in case you didn’t know that’s probably a bad idea.

Some of you might already know about card skimming, but for those of you who don’t let’s dissect this recent article from creditcards.com.

What is Card Skimming?  This is a basic theft strategy where crooks use a small device to capture all your data from your cards magnetic stripe.  Once they get your card number, expiration date, security code, and your full name all the can easily duplicate your card and it’s off to the races.  But, with your debit card, things can get worse.

The Power of Deduction

Why can’t you see the small device the crooks use to get your info?  Because they have placed their own keypad over the original.  This is how they get your debit pin number and once they have that it’s no longer credit that’s being stolen it’s your cold hard cash being digitally deducted from your checking account.  That’s harder to dispute. How are they doing this?

With the birth of new technology, things have gotten easier for them.  “Bad guys can use a 3-D printer to create a new keyboard to put on top of the real one.”  Depending on the work ethic of the thief you may or may not be able to detect a difference in the keypad the rest of the ATM or gas pump, such as bigger keys.

According to Fico data,  “during 2017, the number of compromised ATMs and point-of-sale devices rose 8 percent. Meanwhile, the number of compromised cards climbed 10 percent.”   

If that isn’t bad enough, they also point out that the recent spike “comes on the heels of a 70 percent jump in the number of payment cards compromised U.S. ATMs and merchants in 2016″.  So how do you combat this?

Experts suggest that their no foolproof way to spot all card skimmers as the technology keeps getting better.  But, below are some of the best ways to combat again, courtesy of creditcards.com

  • Use your eyes: Look before you insert your card
  • Use your fingers: If something doesn’t feel right, move on
  • Use your phone: Apps now can alert you to possible skimmers
  • Use your common sense: Use fuel pumps and ATMs in safe places
  • Pay inside, with cash or a credit card, rather than at the pump
  • Choose pumps closest to a physical building
  • Use a credit card, not a debit card, when you pay
  • Use your issuer’s fraud alerts and check your card statements
  • Consider paying or withdrawing cash with your digital wallet

Get A Leg Up On The Competition

Here at Tizzime we love helping you find ways to save time and energy, but this is one instance were taking the extra time to walk inside and pay is well worth the effort.  And an extra minute or two and little exercise could save you a lot more wasted time and energy in the future.

[Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash]

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