Consumers around the country hit the road for year-end holidays. AAA estimated more than 97 million Americans traveled by car for the holidays last year, setting a new record for the ninth consecutive year. Those extra miles on the road will lead to more fuel stops, often at unfamiliar gas stations. Consumers should take caution, as our partners at KKTV in Colorado Springs report on a devious scheme to steal your credit card information at the pump.
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Here are some tips to avoid getting your card information skimmed at the pump:
- Inspect the card scanner at the pump for visible signs of tampering. Fuel dispensers are typically sealed with security tape, which suggests tampering if it is broken. If you see anything suspicious, alert the station employees and have them check it out.
- Gently pull on the card scanner to make sure it is is securely attached and part of the pump — Some skimmers are affixed over the genuine scanner and can be pulled off.
- If you’re suspicious or just want to take extra caution, sacrifice some convenience to pay inside. It is much more difficult for criminals to attach a card skimmer at the cash register.
- If you can, use a credit card rather than a debit card due to the enhanced fraud protection credit cards provide. If a skimmer steals your debit card number and pin, they could use it withdraw cash.
- After traveling, check your credit and debit card statements to ensure no suspicious activity shows up
- If you do suspect your information has been compromised, alert your bank or credit card company immediately. Fraudulent charges can often be reversed if they are reported in a timely fashion.