Eventually, fraudsters will have a much harder time stealing consumer payment data at Pennsylvania gas stations with credit card skimmers. By 2020, all gas pumps will feature chip-card readers to accommodate debit and credit cards enhanced with fraud-resistant EMV chips. However, right now, most card readers on gas pumps in Pennsylvania still utilize magnetic-stripe technology. These readers, according to security experts, “lack layers of protection.” Unfortunately, identity thieves and other types of scammers know how to sneak credit card skimmers into these card readers. Also, newer skimmers are smaller and harder to detect than ever. Yet, Pennsylvania consumers can protect their payment information by taking a few preventive measures when filling up at the gas station.
Why Pennsylvania Fraudsters and Identity Thieves Make Money with Credit Card Skimmers at Gas Stations
Consumer awareness is higher when it comes to credit card skimmers at Pennsylvania gas pumps. Yet, fraudsters still prey upon unsuspecting drivers every day. Many drivers leave their payment information vulnerable because they pay little attention to their actions when they stop for gas. For most Pennsylvania consumers, filling their tanks is a routine chore. Their minds are elsewhere when they swipe their cards at pumps. So, they often don’t notice when card readers look suspicious.
Of course, card readers compromised with credit card skimmers may not look suspicious at all. Again, most scammers no longer use clunkier versions that are easy to detect. Instead, modern credit card skimmers fit inside point-of-sale devices. Therefore, Pennsylvania consumers must use different strategies at gas stations in order to protect their payment information and personal data.
About 29 million U.S. consumers use debit and credit cards to pay at gas pumps every day. To an identity thief, this makes gas stations attractive marks for money-making schemes. Knowing this, all Pennsylvania consumers should do whatever they can to make credit card skimmers ineffective. Luckily, Pennsylvania residents with smart phones already have a huge advantage in the battle against this type of identity theft.
Tips on Avoiding Credit Card Skimmers at Pennsylvania Gas Stations
Credit card skimmers are on the rise at Pennsylvania gas stations, but you can keep your payment information safe from identity thieves. First and foremost, if you have a few minutes to spare, just go inside the gas station to pay. This way, you avoid potential credit card skimmers altogether. However, if you pressed for time or just prefer to pay at the pump, follow these security tips.
Consult your smart phone.
The Skimmer Scanner Android app is free and easy to use. Once Pennsylvania drivers download this app, their phones tell them if there is suspicious Bluetooth activity in the area which might indicate the presence of a credit card skimmer. Then, the consumer can go to another gas pump or even a different gas station.
Use gas pumps that are closest to the building.
Normally, fraudsters install credit card skimmers on the gas pumps that are farthest from the building in order to avoid detection.
Look closely at the security seal.
If you stop at a gas pump with a broken security seal, go to a different pump. Or, if you see the word “void” on or near the security seal, don’t trust the card reader with your debit or credit card.
Keep close tabs on your financial statements and credit reports.
Finally, one of your best defenses against all types of credit card fraud and identity theft in Pennsylvania is to monitor your financial and credit information. If you have online access to your bank and credit card statements, check them daily, and look for suspicious activity.
As for your credit reports, you should check these at least once every 12 months. Fortunately, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles Pennsylvania consumers to free annual copies of their credit reports from each of the major credit bureaus. You can also request credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian all in one place by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
While going over your credit reports, if you spot unauthorized accounts, bogus transactions, or anything indicating identity theft, file a police report right away. Then, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Pennsylvania. When you call or contact our firm online, our credit pros will connect you with an experienced credit attorney who will get your credit reports fixed for free. In fact, we’ll do everything it takes to get all fraudulent items removed from your credit reports without charging you anything out of pocket – ever.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit in Pennsylvania After Identity Theft
Don’t let identity theft damage bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (856) 912-3511 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair After Identity Theft, please visit https://www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/pennsylvania/fix-identity-theft/.