Friday, June 10, 2011

Beware The Skimmers

This Santa Rosa Press- Democrat story gives good reason not to use a debit card to buy gasoline. Credit cards have some added protections debit cards don't have.

In this case some bad guys installed information skimmers inside gas pumps and surreptitiously recorded the credit card information as customers bought gas. I found that rather scary as I'd only heard of skimmers being placed on the outside of gas pumps (and ATMs). With a scam like this you'd be unlikely to know anything was wrong until you saw the charges show up on your account.

This made me realize using a restricted card for gas purchases, like the Renner Petroleum card I use, is a much better idea than using a Visa or Mastercard as they can only use my card at other Renner cardlock sites.


At 9:13 PM, Blogger Ernie Branscomb said...

Yeah, smart, Fred. That way they can only steal your gas money.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Well, if they "got your gas money", it would be a charge to the gas company that you'd supposedly have to pay just like a charge to Visa or Mastercard. But, the only thing they could get if they had your card# and PIN would be gas or petroleum products sold by Renner. Also, the only place they could get the card info, or use the card, would be at Renner stations in Northern CA and Southern Oregon, and there's not all that many of them.

That would limit the chances of them getting your information in the first place, and greatly decrease the places they could use the stolen information.

Contrast that with a normal Visa card: If they get your card and PIN number, they could conceivably use that card info across the country and online. I think card info like that would be much more sought after than a local gas station card with limited use.


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