Paying at the Pump, Put my Credit Card in the Wrong Hands

For the second time in 2 weeks, I had an unauthorized charge from my checking account. The first time was a charge to my husband’s card on a fraudulent foreign website for $100. We just completed the process of having a new card issued to him, and having our money returned to us, when I went to use my card at Target and was denied. I called my bank and they informed me that 2 transactions for over $600 each were done on Walmart.com. Luckily, the Fraud department caught it because the address was different. They denied the transactions and put a block on my card.


How could this happen again?! And so soon?!

I immediately started running through any web purchases I had made. Did I buy something on a new site?

Did the bank have a security breach?

What is going on?!

The Fraud rep explained that it is most likely happening at the gas station because the card reader at the pump has been tampered with. He explained that this is how most thieves get your card info, not from shopping online as most people believe.

I thought, 'How can that be? I haven't put gas in the car lately.'

Then, I remembered, My husband borrowed my card because we were waiting on his! He got gas at the same place he always does. Ahem, correction always did, looks like we'll be going somewhere else from now on!

I wish I had known these things to look for before this:

Take a good look at the card reader to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with. Some gas places have stickers to show if the door of the scanner has been opened. The sticker will change colors or say "void" if tampered with. Others, may use skimmers that go over the normal card reader. These skimmers can be pulled off rather easily, so just give a tug on the reader before putting your card in.

If something doesn't look right, use another pump, or be truly safe and pay inside...with cash!



♪Protect yourself♪ *sung in the style of Madonna's 'Express Yourself'