3 Precautions to Take When You Pay at the Pump

Card skimmers are notorious for gas-station scams. Here are 3 tips to help you protect yourself when you’re filling up.

Credit card skimming at the pump is a crime that continues to pay dividends for thieves. Gas station bandits attach realistic-looking skimmers on top of the ones you slide your card into to pay for gas. These skimmers intercept your personal information from the magnetic strip on the back of your card.

Here are 3 precautions you can take before you swipe your card and lift the nozzle:

1. Pay attention to the card slot

Not all card-skimming criminals are installation experts. Sometimes, you can detect a card-skimming device just by shaking the card slot around. If it looks or feels loose, that may be a key sign something isn’t right.

2. Use credit, not debit

Using a credit card, by itself, won’t save your valuable information from a magnetic-strip skimmer. But choosing a charge card may save you time should your information fall into the wrong hands. You won’t be liable for any fraud perpetrated by a skimming criminal, either way. But it can be much more of a hassle to recover from a cleaned-out checking account than not having to pay your credit card company for fraudulent charges.

3. Get TransUnion Credit Monitoring now

Lastly, but most importantly, help protect your identity & credit with TransUnion Credit Monitoring’s exclusive features:

Instant Credit Alerts, send via email, text or push notification as soon as we find out someone’s applying for credit in your name.

TU Credit Lock, which lets you lock your TransUnion credit report right from your smartphone with the swipe of a finger.

Put these 3 precautions in place and you’ll have greater peace of mind.