Photo by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- With summer kicking into full swing, many people are traveling and plan on fueling up when hitting the road. Credit card skimmers are easy to overlook and can gather cardholder data at the pump. The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office offers some tips to help keep your information safe:
- Try to frequent gas stations that make it easier to recognize if a machine has been tampered with. Some gas stations have a credit card door over the opening and apply a tamper-proof seal underneath. If the door has been broken into and the sticker is lifted, revealing the word "Void".
- When choosing which pump to fill up at, use one that is easily visible from the cashier station. Most of the time, skimmers are placed on pumps closest to the exit, and furthest from the cashier's view.
- Inspect the card reader and area near the PIN pad. Most skimming devices are designed to be temporarily affixed to the ATM or gas pump in order to be easily retrieved once they've collected a batch of cardholder data.
- Trust instincts. If in doubt, use another machine somewhere else or pay inside.
- Monitor credit card receipts and check them against statements. If defaults are suspected in the balance, inform the bank. Usually, it's very difficult to know when and where the card might have been skimmed and by the time it is detected, many losses have already been suffered.