Credit Card Skimmers
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Thread: Credit Card Skimmers

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    gbnpp05's Avatar
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    Credit Card Skimmers

    Ran across this today. Thought it might be worth posting. I apologize if it's already been posted by someone else. I didn't see any when I searched.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/texas-polic...meETmVnqDTn9L/
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    I guess there is an advantage to being an old Ludite after all.
    I have never used an ATM, so this is one thing I don't have to worry about.

    But to those that do beware.
    Its amazing the lengths that these people will go thru.
    They had to spend some serious money/effort making these covers and electronics.
    Its really quite clever.
    Too bad they don't put that much effort into an honest living.
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    The skimmers have been news around here for a couple of years. The main targets seem to be pumps at independent stations that have "generic pump locks" on them. Most of the bigger "chain gas stations" seem to have pumps that have individual locks on them.

    To not get ripped off at these pumps, don't use an ATM/Debit card - use a CREDIT CARD instead. Even if you have a debit card that is branded as a VISA or MasterCard, don't use it as a debit card. If you put your PIN into the pump, the thieves have all they need to drain your bank account. Your consumer protections with a debit card are almost nill. Use it as a credit card (without the PIN) and you have more protections as a consumer.

    Most people are aware that they're only liable for something like $50 of charges if their card is lost or stolen and somebody uses it. BUT, you don't have that same protection using a debit card - even if it does have a VISA or MasterCard logo on it. Use a CREDIT CARD!!
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    I still think the enforcement folks are handling this whole skimmer thing too trivially. First it was the stick-on skimmers then it was the internal units and lately it seems to be the internal skimmers with wireless connectivity to the owner.

    They need to make the business more responsible for their equipment. If they cannot install proprietary locks then why can't they simply check the equipment several times a day or at least at each shift change? They are already opening up the machines to install receipt paper so it's not like they don't have access. That would at least avoid the situation where a skimmer sits in a machine for a couple weeks and collects information before being discovered.

    I am all for BIG penalties for anyone caught buying, making, selling or using skimmers and also huge PER SKIMMER fines for any business caught with one in their machines.
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    There have been issues with skimmers around here for a few years. Mainly on gas pumps. I use a credit card at the pumps, if something doesn’t look right I use a different pump, or go to another station. I keep a close watch on my card balance. So far I haven’t had any issues. Very seldom do I use an ATM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark02tj View Post
    The skimmers have been news around here for a couple of years. The main targets seem to be pumps at independent stations that have "generic pump locks" on them. Most of the bigger "chain gas stations" seem to have pumps that have individual locks on them.

    To not get ripped off at these pumps, don't use an ATM/Debit card - use a CREDIT CARD instead. Even if you have a debit card that is branded as a VISA or MasterCard, don't use it as a debit card. If you put your PIN into the pump, the thieves have all they need to drain your bank account. Your consumer protections with a debit card are almost nill. Use it as a credit card (without the PIN) and you have more protections as a consumer.

    Most people are aware that they're only liable for something like $50 of charges if their card is lost or stolen and somebody uses it. BUT, you don't have that same protection using a debit card - even if it does have a VISA or MasterCard logo on it. Use a CREDIT CARD!!
    The problem isn't whether it's a debit card or not, it's whether you run the transaction as credit or debit. Even if you have a debit card, having the logo means that you can use it just like a credit card. So, use it that way!

    You should NEVER run a transaction as debit, always as credit. That way, you're protected AND you never have to risk someone stealing your PIN.

    There is still risk - any place that allows you to use that card without a signature (not just gas stations) means that anyone with the card in hand has immediate access to your actual money, even when running transactions as credit. It could take you a while to get that back, even with zero-dollar liability, if you don't report the card lost/stolen immediately.
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    On several occasions, in parts of Indiana and Michigan, they have caught Speedway Gas Station Owners as well as other "locally owned" brands, involved in organized efforts to steal credit card data and the station owners were actually being paid a bounty on each transaction. Of course, they initially denied it but when they found that all seven or eight of the stations owned by the same owner were the source of these transactions, it was harder to dispute.

    The accused own security tapes, which were backed up to the cloud, showed the owner standing with the person who was installing the scanners on the pumps and being shown how they work. The owner deleted his local copy of the security footage but the investigators got a warrant and had it pulled from the cloud after the cloud manager was ordered to not destroy any of their footage while the investigation was underway.

    Amazing the lengths some people will go to be criminals when if they applied all of the effort to something honest and productive, they would be further ahead in the long run. The news report did say that the majority of those who caught the money missing from their account were older and when the news reached the media and others started looking, the number of victims exploded. Apparently, many never bother to check their bank accounts against their transactions receipts and when the thefts of money remained small, it went on far longer before it was noticed.

    Also, many of the ATM's found in other than bank branch locations are owned by private individuals who collect the ATM fees for the use of their machines. So, use of any ATM subjects you to increased risk of theft of either money or data or both. Sadly, it's the world we now live in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SulleyBear View Post
    On several occasions, in parts of Indiana and Michigan, they have caught Speedway Gas Station Owners as well as other "locally owned" brands, involved in organized efforts to steal credit card data and the station owners were actually being paid a bounty on each transaction. Of course, they initially denied it but when they found that all seven or eight of the stations owned by the same owner were the source of these transactions, it was harder to dispute.
    I thought that all of the Speedway stations were corporate owned??
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