The Department has ramped up efforts to identify credit skimmers in the interest of consumer protection. In December 2015 we observed a sharp increase in the number of skimming devices, finding more skimmers in one month than any previous year. Alarmed at this sharp increase, the Division began reaching out to financial institutions, law enforcement, the Arizona Attorney General’s office, and fuel retailers to identify solutions to this growing problem. This concerted effort has increased scrutiny and educated gas station owners to assist in identification of skimmers across the state. Find the latest list here.
Dispenser “skimming” occurs when a criminal attaches a card reading device inside the dispenser. The skimmer is equipped with electronic recorders that capture the financial information from your card. This data can be used to create “cloned” cards which can later be used to withdraw money.
What can you do?
- Inspect the gas pump before using. Be suspicious if you see anything loose or damaged. If a store has adhesive security stickers make sure they are not voided or appear broken. Wiggle the card reader before putting in your card to verify it is not loose. If you feel something is wrong, notify the attendant and pay inside the store.
- Ask store personal how frequently they check for skimming devices or what measures they have in place to protect your credit card information.
- If you use a debit card at the pump, run it as a credit card instead of entering a PIN. That way the PIN is safe and money isn’t deducted immediately from your account.
- Use a credit card with a small limit solely for fuel purchases or pay inside rather at the pump.
1. Report It
- Report ANY discrepancies or illegal activities immediately to your bank.
- Report any skimming device to your local Police Department and the Arizona Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Services Division.
2. Be Aware
Consumers should frequently monitor bank and credit card statements to ensure all transactions are correct.
If someone accesses or uses your credit without your knowledge; contact the credit card company in question. Alert your local Police Department. For more information on reporting fraudulent credit ATM, and debit cards as well and how to protect yourself visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website.
Gas Station Skimmer Training Presentation
The Division has developed a training presentation for store personnel to learn how to identify what skimming devices inside a fuel dispenser may look like. Daily inspection inside fuel dispensers not equipped with automatic tampering dispenser shutoff alarms helps to protect you and consumers from credit card information theft.