A tiny device can make using a credit card at a “pay at the pump” station treacherous. The device is small enough to fit in the palm of the hand and can be made from common materials for under $100. It can be installed in about 2 minutes is nearly undetectable visually. These little machines are designed to steal information. They transmit the data imbedded on the magnetic strip and the customers PIN code to their owners.
Several of these devices were recently found in a VA service station. Officers believe the criminals were located nearby in order to receive the transmitted signals. Credit cards in the US have become a target for this type of theft. US cards still use magnetic strips instead of the computer chips common to many other nations. Far fewer methods of theft have been for the chips.
Experts recommend using a gas station card rather than a credit or debit card when paying at the pump. The devices are typically located almost entirely inside the pump and nearly invisible. Consumers should also keep a close watch on their credit card accounts and track purchases.