Follow Us on Apple News

By Nancy Werteen, WFMZ TV 69, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Thirty-seven million Americans refuel every day, and 29 million of them use a card to pay for that fuel. Until all pumps are converted to only accept EMV chip readers, which is estimated to happen by the year 2020, thieves and crooks will attempt to use these pumps as well as ATMs to skim and steal your card information.

James Alexander knows the feeling of having his credit card information stolen.

“I was in the line at the grocery store and I get to the front, paid with a card and declined. At first I went ‘hold up I know there’s money in there,’” Alexander said.

To avoid getting your card info skimmed, take a good look at the keyboard and card reader. Scammers will print 3D keyboards to put on top of the real ones.

Wiggle the reader to check if it’s loose. There may be security tape with a serial number across the dispenser door, use it to check if the seal has been broken.

You can also download the free app, Skimmer Scanner, on Android phones, which uses Bluetooth connections to search for skimmers that may be in range of you.

And always cover your pin as you enter it. Scammers may use nearby signage to cover pinhole cameras that record you entering your pin.

Finally, sign up for mobile card fraud alerts.

“Please look at your statements. I do it religiously now. That’s part of my routine every month, look at the statement and see what went out,” Alexander said.

University of Florida students have now developed The Skim Reaper, a credit card-thin gadget that costs $50 to make, you can slide it into a card reader to detect if it has been compromised. More testing must be done, but investigators and police have started using the device with impressive early results.