In 2013, a credit card skimmer was discovered at the Murphy USA Gas station in Moraine, Ohio. Since that day, more than 90 credit skimmers have been uncovered throughout the state and over half of those were found in southwest Ohio.
But a year ago, the manager of Murphy USA decided to take a few extra steps to protect customer data by upgrading the station’s pumps. These upgraded pumps now have three different levels of security. Instead of using a universal key to open all of the pumps, each pump comes with an individual key. And it takes two different keys to open the pump, and once it has been opened, an alarm sounds until it is reset.
Christy Prince is the manager at Murphy USA, and she explained the decision to upgrade the station’s pumps. “If it wasn’t for the consumers we wouldn’t have a business so anything we can do to protect them so that’s what we’re going to do,” Prince stated.
Credit card skimmers have become much more sophisticated over the years. Today, credit card skimmers are increasingly hard to spot, making them a growing problem throughout the nation for card holders.
Once inserted, they can steal credit card information from every person who swipes their card. Visa and Mastercard are not requiring operators to make the switch to EMV chip technology until October 2020, which makes gas stations especially vulnerable to being targeted for credit card skimmers.
But according to Prince, the station’s new security measures seem to be doing their job. “We’ve had these pumps since December of last year, so since then the only person that set off the alarm was one of the gentlemen from [the Montgomery County] Weights and Measures [department],” Prince added.
Several other Ohio gas stations were acknowledged for increasing the security on their pumps as well. It remains to be seen whether other gas stations will follow suit.
Even with these increased security measures, consumers still need to take steps to protect themselves anytime they use a gas pump.
Credit card scams crop up all over the country. Just recently, one such scam arrived at a consumer’s doorstep with flowers. It would have been a lovely gift if the transaction didn’t result in thousands stolen within hours.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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