Bluetooth enabled gas skimmers add to concerns at the pump

Criminals are now using Bluetooth technology to skim cards at gas stations.

TAMPA, FL -- On October 1, a new law goes into effect to make it harder for thieves to install credit card skimmers on gas pumps.

The law requires gas stations to put a security seal over every pump.

To go one step further, stations can install better locks, or technology that shuts a pump down when someone messes with it.

But thieves are already one step ahead when it comes to getting your money.

Hackers place devices on machines to steal your credit card information. They can also break in and install hard drives to steal info by Wi-Fi and now, bluetooth-enabled skimmers are popping up. That means thieves could steal your cash from blocks away.

"Soon as it passes that barrier between the card reader into the gas pump, the person is able to retrieve it either from their computer or from a nearby station," said Hillsborough Sheriff's Detective Tim White.

Cory Stork is always cautious at gas stations. He was a victim of a credit card skimmer.

"It was 100 something dollars being charged to my account," he said.

Oh…and it happened to him, twice.

"I used my debit card at another gas station. Again my card gets declined."

Detective White says you also can't just rely on the security stickers anymore to tip you off that someone installed a skimmer.

Our sister station WFMY in North Carolina found that hackers can buy a pack of stickers and replace them after they've already broken in.

"You know you have the bad guy who comes along and tries to outsmart it and there's other ways of getting around things."

One piece of advice: Always choose 'credit' as an option, so you're only giving out your zip code, not your pin.

But, perhaps your only foolproof method:

"Go inside and pay for your gas inside," Det. White said.

Which is exactly what Stork does and with cash only.

 

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