BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Filling up with gas is so common we can get complacent, but you need to be careful in order to avoid credit card fraud.
A lot of times when we’re filling up our gas tanks, we’re in a rush to get somewhere, but Clay Ingram with AAAAlabama says you need to pause and take a moment to better protect yourself.
Gas skimmers are devices that thieves attach to the card slots of gas pumps. They can be used to record and store credit card information, but there are simple things to avoid falling victim to them.
You may notice that many pumps have serial numbered safety stickers. If it’s torn, someone may have tampered with it. Avoid them as much as possible!
Ingram also says going inside to pay is the safest option, but if you can’t, be sure to use a credit card instead of a debit card. He adds that there are also some pumps that are less likely to have a skimmer.
“Usually when we see these skimmers attached to the pump, they’re usually doing them on the pumps furthest from the line of sight of the interior of the store, so furthest from the front door of the store,” said Ingram said. “So if you have a choice, also use the pump which is a bit closer to the door and might also offer a bit of protection.”
It encourages you to inspect the card scanner before swiping your card. If it looks like someone has tampered with it, use another pump and notify the gas station attendant immediately.
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