12 On Your Side: Watch out for skimming devices at gas pumps

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- As drivers hit the road this holiday season, there is an increased risk that they could be skimmed at the pump.

Henry Coloey, vice president of Sprint Corp., is aware of the high-tech way thieves rob drivers at the pump.

"Skimming is basically is where something is attached to the credit card reader on a dispenser of a gas pump or ATM machine that reads your card number and pin number as you enter it in," he said.

He said customers probably wouldn't be able to spot the skimming device on the pump.

"If they've done their job, you're not going to know it," he warned.

He's already taken extra precautions to protect his pumps with a triple encryption security system. The system is now required by some major credit card companies to stop thieves.

However, gas stations across the country report skimmers stealing personal info from their customers. The hardest-hit states are Arizona, Utah, California, Hawaii and Florida.

Experts recommend using your credit card and not your debit card to fill up. If you choose to use a debit card, then go inside the store to scan it. Also, try to fill up at reputable stores -- they're more likely to invest in security systems.

Keep an eye out for any loose items at the pump, as they may be a skimming device.

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