Gas Station "Skimmers" Steal Your Credit Card Info When You Pay At The Pump

In case you weren’t aware, a skimmer is a tiny device that reads your credit card number and delivers it to the bad guys.

Steve, our friend over at the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures sent us this photo of a “skimmer.”

Arizona’s very first credit card skimmer was found at a gas station on May 30th, so the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures is taking steps to ensure that other skimmers that may have been installed are located.

How can you, as a consumer, tell if a skimmer has been installed before you pay? That’s the trouble. You can’t. The device is tiny and has to be installed inside the credit card machine. It’s a troubling problem. How are the scammers gaining access to the gas station credit card machines? How can they be stopped?

The best thing you can do is check your credit card statements for fraudulent activity. Never assume that just because the card is in your wallet, it’s safe. —MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: Arizona Department of Weights And Measures)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.