How to Evade Skimmers and the Dangers of Using Gas Credit Cards

Gas credit cards are popular cost saving options for people who use their cars regularly and want to lower their fuel bills. Some of these cards are issued by specific gas stations and can be used at places that belong to the same chain. In addition, there are cards issued by leading credit card companies that can be used at any gas station, all across the country.

Debit and credit card users who pay at these pumps are now facing a new way of being gouged: skimmers. The danger of innocent buyers falling into the hands of these fraudulent elements is increasing at an alarming rate and requires the right levels of awareness and caution.

Dangers of Using Gas Card Credit Cards

Recently, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of identity thefts by way of installing inconspicuous electronic devices at gas terminals or fuel pumping stations. These inexpensive and small devices are capable of recording the details of your card when you pay for your fuel. The details of the debit/ credit card are stolen by placing skimmer devices on the inside – and sometimes outside – a credit card processing machine at gas pumps. The stolen card details are then used for making fraudulent purchases.

In some cases, thieves install pinhole cameras on their skimmer devices so that they can observe consumers entering the PIN codes for their accounts into pre-installed credit card processing machines. There have been reports of some of these fraudsters working on a part-time basis at gas stations, so that they can install these devices discretely.

Avoiding the Danger of Skimmers

In order to prevent this identity theft, you are well advised to use your credit card for buying gas rather than using the debit card provided by your bank. This is because a card processing machine with a skimmer device helps the thief get easy access to your confidential bank information. This may prove to be dangerous as most banks fail to offer debit card protection. This in turn means that if at all an unauthorized person was to withdraw money by using the details of your debit card; you will not be unable to recover the amount withdrawn.

It is also a good idea to use the fuel pump that is located closest to the fuel station building or the cashier. This is because thieves usually install their skimmer devices on gas pumps that are further away from cash-counters, security cameras and other employees or customers.

Using Gas Credit Cards Safely

Credit card companies provide better protection against identity thefts as they allow consumers to dispute any fraudulent charges at merchant outlets. You may choose to inspect the gas credit card machine before swiping. If something appears funny, odd or suspicious, it is very likely that it has an installed skimmer device. It is best to buy your fuel from the next pump or share your concerns with the authorities at the fuel station. Beware.

We recommend you check out the best gas rebate credit card on the market.

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