Best practices to foil gas station skimmers

Ahead of one of the summer’s biggest travel weekends, the Federal Trade Commission, with assistance from NACS, posted two blogs offering advice to motorists and gasoline stations on how to avoid skimmers at the pump.

In “Best practices to foil gas station skimmers,” the agency reminds retailers that “customers aren’t the only victims” when criminals use gasoline pumps to hide skimming devices. “Your business can suffer from the associated costs, including a damaged reputation and lost sales,” the FTC wrote.

Best practices to keep customers and businesses safe from skimmers include daily pump inspections and security seals on pumps (and logging the serial numbers of the seals). Things to look out for during inspections include warped or protruding surfaces. Employees should also report unscheduled work by “technicians” and vehicles parked at pumps longer than necessary.

For consumers, “Avoid skimmers at the pump” provides a list of tips while filling up, such as visually checking the gas pump for signs of tampering (broken security seals or panels not flush) and checking to see if the card reader appears uniform with other pumps. Using a debit card as a credit card also helps keep your PIN safe. Monitor accounts frequently to quickly spot any unauthorized charges.