Every day, it seems that scammers are finding increasingly crooked and devious ways to steal sensitive information from unsuspecting consumers in an attempt to siphon away their hard-earned money. One common place for criminals to lay their traps for this type of thievery is gas stations.
Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that if you rely on gasoline for transportation (as many of us do), you really can’t avoid gas stations. So, what can you do to protect yourself?
Keep scrolling for tips on how to keep your card information safe at gas stations...
1. Pay Inside
While not impossible, it is less likely that the point of sale (POS) terminal at the register inside the gas station has been tampered with than those attached to the pumps, since an attendant has hopefully had their eye on their terminal. So, if you’re feeling a little iffy about the outdoor pump, you may consider walking inside to pay.
2. Use Mobile Payment Apps
Many gas stations now accommodate Apple Pay and Google Pay options, eliminating the need to insert a payment card at the pump or indoor terminal. Because most skimming devices are installed inside the card slot, paying via a mobile app greatly reduces the risk of your payment card information being lifted.
3. Inspect the Pump
In the event that you are unable to pay inside, are unable to pay using a mobile app, or simply do not wish to utilize either of these options, you can greatly decrease your chance of being scammed by simply inspecting the gas pump before inserting your payment card. Take a quick look around and make sure that the pin pad and card slot at your pump look similar to those at the other pumps, and that they don’t show signs of tampering. You might even give the panel a slight (slight, not vigorous) tug to ensure that there is no false front.
4. Pay with Cash
When in doubt, paying with cash is a relatively foolproof way to ensure that your card information is not lifted from a transaction (at a gas station or elsewhere). Unfortunately, if you still have payment cards in your wallet, it is possible for thieves to steal this information using radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems. For this reason, you may want to invest in an aluminum wallet.
So, there you have it!
Stay diligent in the steps you take to protect your personal information, and from everyone at Quick-Set Auto Glass, drive safely out there!