Gas station skimmer theft rising
Gas prices are low, but consumers are finding a different kind of pain at the pump: Having credit card information stolen via skimmers installed in gas pumps. It’s happening more and more, and experts say skimming is continuing to rise in 2016 due to two factors.
One is skimming technology, which is becoming more sophisticated. Skimmers once were large-ish devices installed over the the real card reader and recognizable as out of place by discerning gas station patrons. Nowadays, they’re as small as a thumb drive, hidden inside the pump and nearly impossible to detect.
Second, along with most ATMs, fueling stations have until October 2017 to update pumps with EMV technology, which accommodates credit cards with electronic chips. Why? Time and money. Gas pumps are highly regulated objects. After the new technology is installed, local authorities must inspect and re-certify every pump. The industry will spend $3.9 billion retooling the country’s 800,000 fuel pumps, according to Gray Taylor, executive director of Alexandria, Virginia-based Conexxus. Conexxus is the technology-and-standards arm of the National Association of Convenience Stores, a trade association for convenience stores and fueling stations. Read more.