Protect Yourself From Theft At The Gas Pumps - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Protect Yourself From Theft At The Gas Pumps

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(WLNS) - There's a warning today that may have you thinking twice before swiping your card at the gas pump and paying closer attention to your bank account.

It's very easy and convenient to pay with plastic but that's making it easier for thieves too.

If there's a line behind you at your local gas station you may be trying to get in and get out as soon as possible whether you're using a debit card or cash.

But according to Consumer Reports, more people are losing their debit cards, pre-paid cards and even credit cards to thieves who steal their data while at the pump.

It's called skimming and this is how it works: the report says thieves are secretly installing electronic skimmer devices at pumps to steal card data and pin numbers. The devices fit snugly over the regular card readers and are often difficult to recognize as being added on.

So if you want to use plastic the best way to pay at the pump is with a credit card.

Because, unlike bank cards, purchases with credit cards don't immediately come out of your checking account. Instead you're billed for them which gives you a chance to dispute any fraudulent charges.

If a debit card is all you have Consumers Reports recommends you do not type in your pin number. Select the credit option.

And  if you're not in a rush they say another way to protect yourself is to pay for fuel purchases with a card at the cashier.

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