Posted: 8/21/2018

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Scam Alert! Consumers should watch out for illegal card readers aka skimmers at the pump. Criminals can steal your card data to make unauthorized purchases.

pay for gas

Gas prices around the nation have hit an all-time high this year since 2014, according to AAA. While consumers contend with high gas prices, they also need to be on alert for scammers using illegal card readers or skimmers at the pump. With illegal card readers, criminals can steal your card data to make unauthorized purchases or sell it. Check out a few tips to help protect you at the pump.

  • Before sliding your card, check out the gas pump panel and card reader for signs of tampering.  If something looks amiss, inform the attendant and use another pump.
  • Try to wiggle the card reader before putting your card in to see if it moves. If it does, don’t use that pump.
  • Run your debit card as a credit card at the pump to protect your PIN.
  • Pay inside instead of at the pump.
  • Always get a receipt for your transaction just in case you need it for future reference.
  • Keep an eye on your card statements and check your account regularly for any unauthorized or suspicious activity.
  • If you find that your card is compromised, report it to your bank or financial institution immediately.

Here's a picture of a card reader that has been tampered with:
credit card skimmer

These tips can help ensure you don’t get burned by scammers at the pump. Keep up-to-date on trending scams, consumer news, and more by following BCA on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to like and share this information so others aren’t caught off guard.

Here's a helpful infographic with tips you can use to help protect yourself from credit card skimmers:

protect yourself from credit card fraud

About Business Consumer Alliance

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.

Tags: scams, consumer tips

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What is this program?

The Consumer Ally program is free for consumers to join. At BCA, we feel it's very important to educate the public on trends like scams, new laws and providing helpful tips to empower the public in making wise purchasing decisions. This program is an elite community of consumers who share our vision for a safe marketplace. We can't be everywhere at once so we depend on feedback from the public to help our efforts.

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