State: Gas stations using outdated tech put customers at risk for fraud

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The state has issued a new warning about the safety and security of gas station payment card readers – and the possibility of customers to be exposed to fraud.

The warning from the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell states that most gas stations still use the outdated magnetic swipe reader, as opposed to chip readers, which could leave customers vulnerable to malware and skimming machines.

Security alerts published by Visa state that incidents involving malware at gas station pumps can give thieves access to customers’ debit card data. The NJCCIC says that data from the magnetic stripe is sent unencrypted to the gas station’s network where it can be stolen.

News 12 New Jersey has previously reported about credit card skimmers that have been installed at gas stations and ATMs across the state.

RELATED: Consumer Alert: Gas station gas pump credit card skimmers 

Gas stations in New Jersey will have until October 2020 to become chip-card compatible, according to the NJCCIC.

“The NJCCIC recommends fuel dispenser merchants encrypt card data while in transit and at rest, deploy compatible chip card readers as soon as possible, and train gas station attendants on how to recognize payment card skimmers,” the agency said in a statement.

The NJCCIC also recommends that customers use credit cards or cash at fuel pumps instead of debit cards to “reduce the impact of payment card fraud.”

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