Good Consumer Tips for Holiday Travel

Shows a gas pump skimmer found in Arizona


Check Gas Pumps When Filling Tank

(Phoenix) - Thousands of Arizonans will take to the highways for the holiday weekend. Whether you’re traveling around our great state or heading across the country, you’ll want to be careful when putting gas in your car. 

Small devices, known as skimmers, are sometimes installed in gas pumps to capture a consumer’s credit or debit card information. Most gas pump skimmers reported in Arizona and around the country are located at stations near major highways. 

“In Arizona, we’re talking with gas stations owners and operators about how to spot skimmers and what to do if an attendant finds one,” said Mark Killian, Department of Agriculture director. “We’re also working to consumer education about protecting themselves by being a smart consumer. For instance if consumers are concerned about paying at a gas pump, they should pay for their gas inside the store.”

Since skimmers are a nationwide issue, the Federal Trade Commission recently provided consumer tips on how to avoid skimmers when getting gas. The Department has been working with other state agencies, gas stations, police departments and the banking industry to decrease the number of skimmers in our state. Reports of skimmers in Arizona are decreasing. So far this year, there have been 36 skimmers found and reported, in comparison to 89 in 2016. Eight skimmers were found and reported in June.

Consumers should remain vigilant about checking their bank statements for fraudulent activity and report any issues immediately to their bank and local police. Look at gas dispensers and report any signs of tampering to the station attendant. Ask the attendant what measures are in place to protect your financial information.

Since 2009 the Department has proactively inspected for illegally placed credit and debit card skimming devices in gas pumps. We educate gasoline retailers on ways to prevent the crime and what to do if a device is found. Once there is evidence of a crime, the business or Department notifies local police to have the skimmer confiscated.

The current list of skimmers reported in Arizona can be found on the Department’s website.

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