6/29/2012 6:20 PM ET|
Scammers striking at the gas pump
Thieves are 'skimming' credit card and debit card numbers using devices planted in card readers at the pumps. The fraud is high-tech and hard to detect.
Using a debit card to buy gas can save you a few cents a gallon at some stations. It can also give bad guys easy access to your bank account.
Gas stations are proving to be a weak link in efforts to combat debit and credit card fraud. Outdated technology and poor security allow criminals to install skimmers that capture account numbers and PINs. If you swipe your card at a compromised pump, the captured information can be used to create a clone of your card that can be sold to other criminals or taken on fraudulent shopping sprees.
Organized rings of thieves operate on a large scale. A Los Angeles man named Aleksandr Goukasian was convicted in June of participating in one such ring that stole 38,000 account numbers from gas pumps in California, Nevada and Texas. The credit and debit cards were used to siphon $100,000 from users' accounts. The gang collected PINs and ZIP codes in addition to account numbers, federal authorities said.
Security experts said the size of the fraud wasn't surprising. What was unusual was that a ringleader was actually caught, since so much of this type of crime goes unprosecuted.
The low risk of getting caught isn't the only enticement for evildoers. Gas pumps are tempting targets because:
● One master key opens thousands of pumps. Only a handful of companies manufacture gas pumps, said fraud expert Avivah Litan of Gartner Research, and a single key typically opens that company's pumps, making it easy for crooks to install skimmers. A friend who works at a gas station or an attendant willing to accept a bribe is all a thief needs to get access. "If you get the physical key," Litan said, "then you can open all the gas pumps made by that manufacturer."
● Gas pumps are usually unattended. Sometimes the bad guys pose as maintenance technicians, but skimmers can be installed relatively quickly out of sight of gas station employees. Since the skimmers are installed inside the pumps, they can be hard, if not impossible, to detect from the outside.
● Gas stations are resisting investing in more secure technology. A gas pump doesn't need to have a skimmer installed for your information to be at risk. Older models don't even encrypt your PIN, so it's sitting "in the clear," Litan said, available to anyone who knows how to hack into the machine. Newer gas pumps not only feature encryption but also have unique keys, eliminating the "universal access" problem. Upgrading to the newer models costs gas station owners and franchisees up to $20,000 per pump, however. "Visa and MasterCard have been trying to get the gas industry to invest in better technology," Litan said, but push back from the stations has led the card networks to repeatedly put off requiring the upgrades.
Liz Weston is the Web's most-read personal-finance writer. She is the author of several books, most recently "The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy" (find it on Bing). Weston's award-winning columns appear every Monday and Thursday, exclusively on MSN Money. Join the conversation and send in your financial questions on Liz Weston's Facebook fan page.
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Being able to swipre your gas pruchases has been a wonderful thing for mothers of small children who used to have to unload the kids to go inside to pay or leave the kids alone in the car. Something they are afraid to do these days. I never use my debit card in the swipers,just my credit card. There is better protection for the credit card than your bank account. However I was dismayed that the scanning device is somehow installed inside the pump. How the heck does the crook get the chance to get in there?? So much for paying attention to the slot see if it looks OK.
ok, what is happening is true,but, it also gives way to a new system they plan on implementing to make you feel safe and protected.
the new system uses a small implantable chip in your hand called the veri chip. it is being used in holland and some places in new york.
This is the gearing up through the news media to make you want to get chipped. Through radio scanners the chip can be scanned, but it also has a prefix code built into the chip to access the Brussells economic accounting strategic terminal, nick named the beast. if you do not take this chip when they implement it, you cannot buy or sell anything, no rent gas food and more.
The company name is called digital solutions, this will make a one world economy based on a single monitary system. If you take this chip, you will lose your soul. Revelations chapter thirteen verses sixteen through eighteen, do not be fooled by the media or government.
what this article does not say is when you use your card at the pump,choose the credit option instead of debit. this way your pin is not accesed, and using as credit you fall under a higher level of protection because VISA actually takes over versus your bank.
If radio and television producers used half of their boring and unnecessary weather forecasts, and did some work on these scams they would diminish. A weather forecast (loook outside if you have eyes dumdum) takes about 30 seconds max. Got hit with this scam in Centralia, WA. In late June or early July. Someone bought 'games' from some outfit in Cambridge, England. The swiping device on the pumps didn't work, still don't, so you leave your card with the inside attendant.
The station is a mile east of the freeway.
Just pay cash and keep an eye out for what the media is hyping about next. They are told what to say and what to report on. I have a freind in the media and he told me this. They were going to report on ufo stories and he said they came in and threatened the whole news room. They, meaning the Government officials, N.S.A. C.I.A. etc.
Look for what they don't tell you and where it might be heading to.
When you boil a frog slowly, it doesn't jump out of the pot. When you throw it in boiling water, it jumps out. We are being boiled slowly and don't really notice the changes. Don't be a sheep and follow everything. Be a leader and seek out the truth.
Digital Solutions, google it. Mark of the beast, you tube it. The veri chip is the next step, but they have to crash the world economy first before they make the chip mandatory for everyone.
Cut up your credit cards and start paying cash for everything. Your entire life will change for the better or be a loser and charge your life away and be scammed!
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