ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — If it looks weird, don’t stick your card in. That’s advice from Melanie McGovern with the Better Business Bureau on card skimming at the gas pump.
When it comes to skimming, she says there are some tell-tale signs to look out for before inserting your card.
“If it looks like (the card reader) was put over something, if it looks like somebody tampered with the slot where your card goes, you want to be really careful, these scammers are really good,” she says.
She says these skimmers have an internet connection built-in, where bad actors steal your card information. If you see something out of place, don’t keep it to yourself.
“Maybe go in and say something to the clerk like ‘hey that gas pump looks like it’s been compromised,'” she says.
The crooks she says move quickly to put these in; the gas station might not even be aware a device is on one of their pumps. Some customers tonight said they’ve heard of skimming, but still feel safe filling up with a card.
“Yeah I mean absolutely, I’ve never really thought about it twice,” said one customer.
“No, I’ve never noticed it at least. I’ve heard of that process of scamming and taking money obviously but, I’ve never had that experience,” says Brandon Dobbins.
But for Jeff Mullen a scam like ‘skimming’ is all too real. Last week, his bank alerted him that hundreds of dollars were being charged on his card in Houston and Miami.
“They closed everything down right away… and then now I got my card today and I’m using for the first time at this pump and I’ve got my fingers crossed,” says Mullen.
McGovern says wherever you spend, always be cognizant of money charged to your card. “And make sure there are no unauthorized transactions, you can put a fraud alert on your credit report, and then really keep an eye on that credit report to make sure no one’s using your card in other places,” she says.
McGovern also added if you’re using a card to fill up, it’s a better idea to use credit over debit. Credit usually has greater fraud protection.