How to Prevent Credit Card Skimming at the Pump

Using a credit card at the pump for gasoline is a highly convenient way to get what you need. However, it can also be a costly move if you don’t protect yourself. Credit card skimmers can invade the pump, and then you may find a bogus charge on your credit for a purchase that you never made. Credit card skimming and other fraudulent activities are on the rise. Therefore, you must take steps to prevent it from happening. Here are three ways that you can stop it from happening to you at the pump.

1. Check Tamper Stickers

Many gasoline stations and combo convenience stores use tamper stickers on the pumps. This is to prevent anyone from setting up a device like a credit card skimmer without damaging the sticker, which will immediately let people know that someone has tampered with it because it will say “void” on it. Someone will have to answer for tampering with the pump if that happens. You can ask the cashier if the store uses those before you make your purchase if you like.

2. Choose Another Method

You don’t necessarily have to use your credit card to buy gas. Yes, it is highly convenient because you don’t have to wait in line, but does that really matter? Are a few seconds worth having to contact your credit card company and tell them that someone charged $80 to your credit card in some state that you were not in? How about $800? It may be worth it to just walk into the store for a few seconds.

3. Examine the Swiper

If you really want to use your credit card for personal reasons, you can do that and enhance your experience by examining the swiper. Make sure that it doesn’t deviate from the way that the rest of the swipers at the pumps look. That may be an indication that someone has installed a skimmer. There’s nothing wrong with taking the time to examine things. Too much stuff happens for you not to try to look out for yourself.

You can do other things to protect your finances as well. Keeping an eye out for pickpocketing devices and suspicious looking persons is a way that you can protect yourself, too. Do not do any transactions with your card if you feel uncomfortable about your environment in any way.

If you happen to experience an incident that you believe came from skimming, you must contact your credit card company ASAP. Most of them offer purchase protection and fraud protection, so you should be able to dispute the charge and start the process of having your money returned to you in a prompt fashion.

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