ATM skimmers aren't new, but up until now it was very rare to see this same technology in use at gas stations.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 06, 2013
With summer travel hitting its peak in the month of August, Scambook, the Internet’s leading consumer advocacy platform, is warning consumers to watch out for ATM "skimmers" installed at gas pumps. These devices are capable of stealing the consumer's bank account information.*
“ATM skimmers aren't new, but up until now it was very rare to see this same technology in use at gas stations," said Kase Chong, Scambook's Director of Marketing. "Most consumers don't stop to think twice before they swipe their cards at the pump and fraudsters are clearly exploiting this behavior."
The tool known as a “skimmer” has often been used to steal consumer information at ATMs or other card readers. It is a small but powerful device which can be secretly attached to a card reader and then gather the account information of any debit or credit card. Thieves can steal card numbers, PINs and other private info which can be used to access the victim's accounts.**
In Oklahoma, two scammers used skimming technology to steal ATM card information from consumers using the gas pump at various Murphy’s filling station locations. The federal court charged the men with $400,000 in wire-fraud conspiracy stretching not only across the US but internationally as well. ***
Additionally, new ATM card skimmers can now be configured to “set it and forget it,” using bluetooth-enabled technology to transmit information to a local receiver. Thieves can therefore set up a skimming device and never return to the ATM machine or gas pump, collecting information as long as the skimmer is attached to the card reader.*
The Oklahoma gas pump skimmers remained in place for nearly two months, during which the fraudsters collected enough information to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars.***
To protect against skimmers, Scambook advises that consumers carefully examine all card readers before swiping their cards or entering a PIN number. If any suspicions arise that makes the machine seem unsafe or different, be sure to avoid the machine and alert authorities.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.
*Northrup, Laura, “Tiny Bluetooth Gas Pump Skimmers Are Here to Gobble Your Credit Card Info,” http://consumerist.com/2013/07/30/tiny-bluetooth-gas-pump-skimmers-are-here-to-gobble-your-credit-card-info/ 07/30/2013
**McGarvey, Robert, “Don’t Get Skimmed at the ATM,” http://finance.yahoo.com/news/dont-skimmed-atm-103000117.html 05/03/2013
***Harper, David, “Two men charged in gas-pump ‘skimming’ conspiracy,” http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/Two_men_charged_in_gas_pump_skimming_conspiracy/20130725_11_A9_CUTLIN266292?subj=1 07/25/2013