Read This Before Using a Credit Card at the Gas Pump

Financial tips

Read This Before Using a Credit Card at the Gas Pump

Posted by Infinite Wealth Advisors, LLC
2 years ago | July 11, 2022

With the cost of gas at historical levels, you probably don’t want to spend any more time than necessary at the gas pump. But because the point-of-sale machines at gas stations are often tampered with, we should all take a moment to learn about credit card skimmers.

A skimmer is a device that is placed into, or over, the part of the machine where you swipe your card. It captures your credit card information, which a criminal can then use to create a duplicate card and make purchases with your account. You might notice that the point-of-sale machine seems loose or wiggly, or that the plastic edges of the card scanner seem to stick out farther than usual. You might also notice arrows on the plastic edges that don’t line up correctly.

It’s bad enough for your credit card information to be stolen. But because most credit card companies do provide some fraud protection, you have a chance of getting those charges reversed. But if your debit card is stolen, your bank account could be emptied with no recourse.

Obviously, you want to protect yourself from this common fraud. The best way is to simply avoid paying at the pump and go inside the station to pay for your gas. But if you just can’t give up the speed and convenience of swiping your card outside, use these tips to help protect yourself from skimmers:

  • Pull on the part of the machine where you swipe your card; skimmers usually feel loose or will even pop off
  • Use the pump closest to the building, where employees are more likely to notice tampering
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card
  • Compare the point-of-sale machine with others around you
  • Use a chip card or pay with your phone through an app
  • Use your favorite gas stations’ reloadable gas cards
  • Check your card statements regularly or use an app that notifies you of each new purchase

And as always, credit monitoring is important. Regularly check your credit for new accounts opened in your name, so that you can address any problems before they spiral out of control.

Give us a call if you have questions about financial planning and protecting yourself, and we’ll be happy to help.


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