The price of gasoline is lower than it has been for a while. Still, nobody wants to pay for gas someone else pumped into their vehicle and charged on your debit card. It happens more frequently than you’d think. In some areas of Florida it has become epidemic.
How does it happen and how do you avoid it? First and foremost, check bank statements regularly to spot any unexplained charges.
Suspicious charges on your card for gas tend to be in large amounts, often higher than the amount you could possibly put in your vehicle. In the industry, they call the unlawful activity “skimmer tampering.”
Thieves can get your card number in several ways, according to an industry spokesperson. They are skillful and inventive in lifting your numbers and putting them on a new card, she said. They use them frequently in gas stations or convenience stores. Often, they will purchase large amounts of diesel fuel that they can quickly unload for cash.
How to protect yourself? Check your bank statement weekly, watching for anything that seems unusual or out of place. A charge made in a neighborhood or at a gas station you don’t frequent or in an amount that is unusual is a dead give-away.
Stop using the card and alert the vendor immediately.