Consumer Alert: Gas station gas pump credit card skimmers

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

Thieves have a new way to steal credit card data from customers filling up at the gas station – cellular skimmers.

Police departments in the tristate area say that they have started to recover the devices inside of gas pumps. The device is able to steal credit card information and text it to the criminal.

“The world of skimmers keeps getting worse and worse,” says cybersecurity expert Scott Schober. “You can unlock a gas pump, you can install a Bluetooth skimmer, a regular skimmer or even one of these new cellular skimmers in about 10 seconds, is the record right now, which is pretty scary.”

Schober says that the cellular skimmers make the thieves harder to catch because they can receive the stolen data from anywhere in the world. He says that unlike Bluetooth skimmers, the cellular skimmer cannot be detected by a cellphone or even by using special equipment.

There are ways for customers to protect themselves, Schober says.

Customers should never use a gas pump if it looks like the seal near the credit card reader has been tampered with. Pay with cash if possible and try to use a credit card instead of a debit card. The thieves could steal the PIN.

Gas stations will eventually have to switch to pumps with credit card chip readers, which are harder to skim. But the deadline to make the switch isn’t for another two years.

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