My husband and I have had credit card fraud 3 times in the past year. We have an Amazon credit card for purchases on that site. We have one other card we use online for other purchases. We had been told by our bank never to use our check card for online purchases.
We purchased wallets which have material to block “scanners” from reading our credit card numbers. Yes, there are people who walk around in stores with these scanners and collect numbers off your credit cards. If the card is in an unprotected wallet, the hacker can easily obtain your information.
We realized that the Amazon card had never been hacked in over 10 years. We started looking up credit card fraud and where it happens most often. After reading the article I am providing in this piece, we have decided to pay for our gas with cash – ONLY.
I know that this is certainly not a typical article written by me. But if this can help the brethren to remain safe from criminal hackers, then it is worth writing.
A new breed of credit card thieves is stealing unsuspecting customers’ credit card information at gas pumps by installing “skimmer” devices that steal a purchaser’s data as quickly as one swipe of a credit card.
The “old way, they used to come in here with a gun, or they used to break the windows at night when you were gone,” said Ahmad Motlagh, a California gas station owner who has been in the business for 33 years.
But now thieves have advanced with the times.
Earlier this year, a skimming device was found inside one of Motlagh’s pumps. Without his knowledge, the skimming device sat there for months silently stealing the credit card information of his customers.
Skimming has gotten so bad across the country that Steve Scarince, assistant to the special agent in charge at the United States Secret Service, is on the case. He described skimming as a “multi-billion dollar” problem.
ABC’s “The Lookout” asked Scarince if the U.S. Secret Service was winning the war on this crime.
“It’s even right now,” he said. “We’re doing our best. We certainly could use more help.”
The U.S. Secret Service gets help from local police departments, gas station owners and guys like Dan DeFelippi, a reformed credit card hacker who switched sides.
DeFelippi was caught by the Secret Service and then spent two years training Secret Service agents in the art of skimming.
Skimming, DeFelippi said, is “very easy, and it’s a lot of money. I mean, you can make tons of money. Gas station skimming is one of the easiest and best ways of doing it because [the skimmer] is hidden, the person using it will never see it. It’s simple to add. It’s simple to modify it.”
Gas station owners are seeking new ways to protect their pumps with locks and alarms, but most pump doors can be opened with universal keys.
Surprisingly, ABC’s “The Lookout” found that many of these keys are available for purchase online.
After a few hours or days, sometimes, the person who put the skimmer in place may retrieve the device. However, according to DeFelippi, some of the newer devices use Bluetooth technology to transmit the data remotely, so a person who places a skimmer could steal your credit card numbers without ever risking a return to the pump.
Once the credit information is obtained, the data thief has the option of selling the information or cloning the credit card.
“I was printing my own fake credit cards that looked just like the real thing,” DeFelippi said. “And then, I would go to the store and purchase electronics, expensive items, things I knew I could resell, and I would resell them.”
However, DeFelippi’s shopping sprees with counterfeit cards left a trail too easy to track, and he was caught.
These days, Scarince said, skimmer users have a new way of turning stolen credit cards into cash. They now sometimes use your credit card information to buy gas and pack that gas into huge, hidden tanks in their vehicles. They then go on to transfer that gas into a regular tanker and make what looks like a legitimate gas delivery to a crooked gas station owner, who will pay for the gas in cash.
So how can consumers protect themselves?
DeFelippi advised checking your credit card statements. Most credit card companies will suck up any loss if you report it within 60 days.
And try not to use a debit card: A skimmer user could drain your account, leaving you high and dry until the bank pays you back.”
Once at the gas station, choose a pump near the attendant. Skimmers prefer to target pumps in the shadows.
Finally, there is always the option of paying for gas inside the station. – source
My advice to the readers is when you purchase gas, pay inside, either with cash or your credit card.
The culprit for being hacked is using your credit card at the pump.
Aren’t you thankful that we will not have to be concerned with this in heaven?!