Gas pump universal keys and credit card skimming

With everybody always pressed for time paying at the pump when filling up the gas tank is a great convenience. But be careful, that convenience could cost you!

Gas pumps are a preferred target of credit card skimmers because they are rarely checked by gas station employees. How does a skimming device work? The are just like any other credit card reader, except they fit over the existing slot of the legitimate reader. So when the consumer swipes the card to buy gas the gas pump and the skimmer read the information of the credit card. As soon as the thieve gets the information of your card he/she can start making purchases using your credit card number.

Why is it so easy to install a skimmer in a gas pump? Most pumps use a universal key that opens the gas pump doors, meaning that’s the same key that can be used on a gas pump in Connecticut all the way to California. And of course, these keys are available online. To stop the installation of skimmers, gas station owners have taken to lock the pumps with an additional padlock.

Watch ABC News Nightline video: Credit Card Thieves Caught on Tape Using Skimmers