Card Skimmer Shows Up On 7-Eleven Gas Pump

Just when you thought it was safe to fill up your car while filling yourself with a Big Gulp, a credit-card skimmer has turned up on a gas pump at a 7-Eleven in Vancouver, WA. The skimmer didn’t affect transactions, so customers were able to pump gas while the skimmer quietly collected their credit-card numbers.

According to KPTV in Portland, the skimmer was discovered earlier this week by a station employee, and managers at the 7-Eleven have no idea how long it was there before it was discovered.

Credit Card Skimmer Found On Gas Pump – Portland News Story [KPTV Portland]

Thanks, Brandi P!


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  1. Andrew360 says:

    The image looks like the skimmer was on the inside of the machine? Could it have been detected by customers or was it completely hidden? If it was completely hidden inside the machine, what is the station doing to prevent machine tampering in the future?

    • EatSleepJeep says:

      QuikTrip, a gas station/C-store chain, has tamper-evident seals on all doors to the internals of the pump. I applaud them for making sure the customers are protected. I once notified a store employee that one of the seals on a pump had been cut and he dropped what he was doing to go check out the pump. I was impressed.

      • Andrew360 says:

        That is pretty impressive! After reading the story on KPTV it does look like the device was inside the machine where a customer couldn’t detect it. More chains should add tamper-evident seals to their devices. Thanks for the info!

      • TheDoctor says:

        I highly doubt this was for the customers benefit, it was probably for the rash of theft of gas that was happening a while back, like in this story:

      • SacraBos says:

        Those tamper-evident seals I’ve seen on QT aren’t that tamper-evident. I’ve seen some that weren’t even sealing the door properly. Still, it’s a good step in the right direction.

    • The Cheat says:

      Looks like a stock photo.

    • zomgorly says:

      Yea this was hidden device. The normal even paranoid customer wouldnt have known because it looks like all the other credit card readers. I am curious if someone working for the company that services them put one in the device.

    • Jesse says:

      I worked at a gas station for over 3 years when I was in college. The key to our pumps was just a simple round key. Someone could have probably obtained a similar key easily and attached a card skimmer. We closed our pumps at night and shut the canopy lights off too and I’m sure someone could sneak in there in the middle of the night without much trouble.

      • DH405 says:

        The round keys are actually much like standard pin tumbler locks, but the depth of the little indentions on the edge of the tube is where the pins are manipulated into place. They aren’t a one-fits-all sort of deal as you seem to have implied you believed. They can, however, be picked.

    • TheMonkeyKing says:

      Wow…inside. Two ways to get in there: lockpick key (which are hard to come by because you could manipulate the price of the pump manually) or their own key (or one from a similar station).

      My thought is that either someone working their allowed a “friend” to put it in there or someone with a key from another station did it. Don’t they have security cameras in place to watch over the place? (I don’t know if this was a 24hour station.)

      I usually look for discolored or not quite matching plastic in front of the card swipes. I even try to twist the plastic to see if it gives before swiping my card. But inside, I would never had known until my next credit card bill.

  2. tbax929 says:

    I really don’t want to go back to having to carry cash all the time, but stories like these make me consider it.

    • floraposte says:

      But then you need to use ATMs more often, so you’re right back at the skimmer problem.

      • tbax929 says:

        Not necessarily. Think back to when ATMs first became common (I was in high school at the time). I would take out the money I needed for the week. If your budget is about the same every week, you shouldn’t have to go to an ATM every day. You can also withdraw money from a bank teller instead of going to an ATM.

        I just don’t like carrying cash and really don’t want to go back to carrying it the way I used to.

        • floraposte says:

          Maybe we’re talking past each other, but my point is that there are skimmers on ATMs as, or more, often as on card POS machines.

          • tbax929 says:

            I don’t think we are. My point is that people had access to cash prior to ATMs, and you wouldn’t necessarily have to use ATMs all the time if you started to carry cash more often. You can get money from a teller. Also, we’ve been told on Consumerist that the ATMs at the banks are much safer than other ATMs.

    • trentblase says:

      Does any of these stories change your mind back?

  3. dolemite says:

    Whenever I see a card reader that juts out from a gas pump or atm, I always feel the need to grab it and pull now. I don’t have a problem with the flush mount ones, but now I am continuously paranoid about the others.

    • Colonel Jack O'neill says:

      That’s what I do all the time at the ATM, I always go and jiggle it and try to pull it out.

    • MsFab says:

      I do the same…I always do a grab&shake on all the parts. I also try to frequent the same couple of gas stations in town, so that I’m familiar with what the pumps and CC readers look like.

    • ARP says:

      As more and more people do this, I imagine even the “legit” readers will give way over time. Then they’re have to replace them. Since its a repacement, it may not “match” the rest of the machine perfectly and we’re back to square one.

      PS- I do the same thing. I wonder what it looks like with people constantly beating on their machines. “Why is that woman hitting our ATM with her purse”

    • wjstone says:

      I do the exact same thing. I’m always on the lookout these days.

  4. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This is why I always ALWAYS tug on the card things to make sure there’s no cover before sticking my card in them.

  5. MaytagRepairman says:

    What would have been more interesting if this had happened in Oregon where you aren’t allowed to pump your own gas.

    • savvy9999 says:

      or New Jersey. Bothers me to no end when by chance I visit there.

      Q for the masses: and the reason for these kinds of rules is…..?

    • barb95 says:

      Oh my, I HATE driving through Oregon because of this. I regularly drive from California to Washington and try my best to have a full tank before I leave California.

    • Ecks says:

      Did you ever see Zoolander?

    • Xeos says:

      the politics behind this law in Oregon was to replenish lost logging jobs with gas pumpers. It was the worst example of government legislation attempting to meddle with the economy in the states history.

  6. jerrycomo says:

    50 Cents, with his 25 K in his pockets, would simply laugh Entourage-style at skim scams.

  7. pdxazn says:

    I think it is happening to the near by Fred Meyers gas station too. My card was compromised right after I made the only purchase there in a month. I am surprised the government isn’t doing anything to stop this kind of thing from happening. They could track down who received the goods and catch the thief, but they aren’t doing any thing except ask you to file insurance. This only encourage more thief. You are on your own.

  8. GildaKorn says:

    There’s a skimmer at one of the BECU branches here in Seattle. You need to swipe your ATM card* in order to gain access to their ATM inside the building. What’s the difference between this skimmer and one of these scam skimmers? It’s seemingly bolted on to the building, but a determined scammer could simulate that, I think.

    The more banks and CUs ask us to use our cards for non-ATM purposes, the more likely people are to simply swipe their cards wherever and whenever they’re asked, legit or not.

    (* In reality a grocery store club card will work, too.)

  9. MacGyver says:

    These readers need to be encased in epoxy resin to prevent skimmers from being added on the inside of the machine where customers can’t see.

    • larkknot says:

      I’d be satisfied with just a fancy holographic easy-split sticker, to be scraped off and replaced when actual work has to be done on the machine.

  10. khooray says:

    What is the government supposed to do about it? Geezus, every time anything happens, everyone wants the government to stop it.
    Grow a pair and take care of your own little problems.