Visa warns of Bluetooth-based card skimming at gas stations


The Better Business Bureau is offering tips to help consumers identify and prevent a new type of scam similar to skimming that uses Bluetooth technology.

Visa issued an alert about the scam, which targets the “back end of the gas station’s point of sale system” using technology that is described as “virtually undetectable” when compared to bulkier skimmers that are easier to detect, a report from WAFB states.

The Better Business Bureau offered the tips below to combat this type of scam:

  • Keep a close eye on your bank and credit accounts. Check your online statements regularly to make sure there are no suspicious charges. If you see any, report them to your bank or credit card company immediately. Use the customer service number on the back of the card to be sure you are reaching the real company and not an imposter. Make sure you contact the bank, merchant and your card issuer if you ever suspect your card has been compromised.
  • Be wary if your card gets stuck in a chip reader. If the reader seems to have a tighter than normal grip on your card, there could be a shim inside. You may want to cancel your transaction and notify the business.
  • Only use cards with a chip when making transactions.Whether at a gas station or ATM, limit your card use to only those that have the chip. If you do not have the new card, when possible, go into the bank to draw money and go inside to pay for your gas with cash.
  • Download a scanning app. Developers have created free apps that detects common Bluetooth based credit card skimmers predominantly found in gas pumps.

Visa is giving all U.S. fuel merchants until October of 2020 to update their card readers to be compatible with cards that have computer chips attached. Using a card that has a computer chip significantly lowers a consumer’s risk of falling victim to this type of scam since the chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again. unlike magnetic-stripe cards.

After October 2020, any service stations without the new tech will be liable for any fraudulent purchases made via their point-of-sale systems, according to Visa.

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