It’s easy to complain about the price of gas or having to get out and pump in the cold, but your trip to the gas station can get a lot worse when you find out your credit card information has been stolen from the pump by a card skimmer.
According to the National Association for Convenience Stores, 37 million Americans refuel every day, and 29 million of them use a credit card at the pump. That’s a huge opportunity for these criminals who can steal up to 100 cards’ data with one skimmer on one pump. Unfortunately, these occurrences have been on the raise lately too. In 2016, FICO reported a 70% increase in the number of compromised machines and it hasn’t slowed down in recent years.
What is a skimmer?
A skimmer is an illegal card reader that is placed over or inside of the manufacturer’s card reader that grabs the data off of the cards’ magnetic strips. The data is transmitted offsite where it is then sold or used to buy things online making it impossible for the card holder to know until the purchase is already complete. These skimmers used to be easier to spot, but recently the technology has gotten more advanced and the skimmers can be hidden more easily.
There have been a variety of different security measures taken in recent years including tamper proof stickers, cameras, and smart phone apps that help detect skimmers. However, these measures can’t compete with an actual person inspecting each pump.
For that reason, many convenience stores have turned to hiring security professionals to inspect their gas pumps and even ATMs every day. Signal has recently began providing this service to convenience stores and gas stations giving the store owners, general managers and customers peace of mind that their information will be safe. Through a randomized schedule, Signal Mobile Patrols the property periodically throughout the night, not only looking for potential crimes or mischief, but also checking each pump for any signs of skimmers. They work with the general manager of that location to ensure that their needs are being met and learning the intricacies of their pumps.
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