Secret Service warning: High-tech thieves can remotely skim credit cards at gas pumps

By Melissa Locker

Usually when people mention pain at the pump, they are talking about a rise in gas prices. Not Krebs on Security. The website wrote this week about a new warning from the fraud-investigation branch of the Secret Service. In a memo to its field offices, Krebs reports, the agency said some high-tech thieves have devised an innovative way to steal your credit card information: adding next-gen credit card skimmers to gas pumps.

These nasty little gadgets swipe the data from cards that use the contactless payment method at the gas pump. Then, through a small cellphone and Bluetooth-enabled device hidden inside the payment terminal, it sends the stolen details via mobile text message to almost anywhere in the world.

Krebs notes that, thanks to the clever addition of the SMS tech into the skimmers, the crooks never need to return to the scene of the crime to download the stolen credit card data, making it all the more difficult for them to be caught.

While we are big fans of innovative uses of technology, we’ll pass on this one.

In the meantime, Krebs recommends drivers patronize filling stations that have upgraded their pumps sometime in the last few years and are more likely to have enhanced security features.

Or you could just pay cash. Or get a Tesla.


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