Crime, Syracuse, Technology

Card Skimmers Pose A Threat to Gas Station Customers

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By Tim Collins Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Every car owner needs to get gas in order to get to their destination. What every car owner doesn’t need is their credit card information getting stolen when they use their card to pay for their gas.

Recently, two card skimmers were discovered at a Mobile gas station in Watertown, New York. The skimmers are hard to identify and pose a serious threat to the financial security of stations’ customers. For individuals who are aware of the scam, a sense of fear makes them even more cautious.

“You want to be able to trust the places you go to fill up your gas or, you know, get money out of the ATM,” said Evan Becker, a customer at Sunoco gas station in Syracuse, New York. “Having that fear in the back of my mind is definitely a concern, without a doubt.”

While card skimmers are hard to detect, there are ways for customers to protect their personal information. These ways include checking to see if the card slot is loose, paying with cash and checking bank statements to make sure there are no incorrect charges.

Customers are not the only ones who can help prevent falling victim to card skimmers. The Sunoco in Syracuse placed covers over their card readers to avoid anyone interfering with them.

While there is no definite way to avoid being the victim of card skimmers, being aware of your surrounding is always the best option.

“I actually check the ATMs,” said Kevin Sternberg, a Syracuse resident. “I actually check if I go out of state. I’ll actually check all the places where I go to see if that little plastic part actually removes.”

While new technology to prevent card skimmers is expected to come soon, for now, customers must use their own intuition as their primary source of defense.