How to Avoid Being the Victim of Hacked Fuel Pumps

Tips on preventing your dispensers from skimming attacks

The number of compromised ATMs and point-of-sale devices rose 8 percent in 2017, setting a new record, according to FICO Card Alert Service, which monitors hundreds of thousands of ATMs and other readers in the U.S. 

Fraudsters are developing new technology and methods for hacking fuel pumps, leaving gas station owners in a potentially dangerous position. Until fueling pumps are equipped to read EMV chip cards, gas stations will continue to be targeted by thieves. Older pumps and those without security cameras are at a greater risk.

According to the National Association for Convenience Stores, 37 million Americans fuel their vehicles and 29 million pay for their fuel by debit or credit card every day. This accounts for 78 percent of all customers. Most often, only one skimmer is installed at a site that may have 8 to 24 fuel payment points, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores. But when a skimmer is installed, it can capture card information from an average of 30-100 cards per day. 

As a gas station or c-store owner, it’s important to maintain an active pump security program to monitor your pumps for unauthorized activity. Installing pumps with chip technology can block almost all cloned credit and debit cards. If you aren’t EMV compliant, you should consider upgrading your equipment now. The deadline to be fully compliant is 2020, but until your pumps are upgraded, they are easy targets for fraudsters with skimmers. 

It’s more difficult for thieves to extract information from chip technology than magnetic strips. EMV protects against counterfeit cards by creating unique transaction data, so even if fraudsters do intercept the data, the data can’t be used in subsequent transactions. Retailers report that credit and debit card fraud is dropping rapidly as they’ve adopted EMV for better security measures to protect their brand and their customers. 

The National Association of Convenience Stores advises retailers to take the following precautions to prevent skimming:

•    Inspect pumps daily for any signs of tampering, including matching security tape serial numbers.
•    Use and track pump security seals, which are adhered to the pump near the credit card reader. The seals will read “void” if the machine has been tampered with. 
•    Shut down pumps that might have been tampered with and have them checked for skimmers. 
•    Change the locks on gas pumps.

If you want to learn more, or are in need of a gas pump, POS or other c-store equipment financing, obtain a quick quote now or contact Patriot Capital today at 1-404-255-1770.


State Bank and Trust Company d/b/a Patriot Capital does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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