Visa, Mastercard requiring changes to prevent skimming scams at - WNEM TV 5

Visa, Mastercard requiring changes to prevent skimming scams at gas stations

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GRAND BLANC, MI (WNEM) -

Mid-Michigan residents are aware of skimming devices at gas stations, but they are popping up more and more.

A recent device was discovered at the BP gas station on S. Saginaw Road in Grand Blanc.

Mark Griffin is the president of the Michigan Petroleum Association and the Michigan Association of Convenience Stores.

"We share your concern, we've both been attacked," Griffin said. "Somebody broke into our equipment, put a device in there that didn't belong there, took information from you and potentially took information from us as well."

A skimming device is attached to the gas pump and it is designed to steal people’s credit or debit card information. Griffin is urging his member to take action to protect consumers at the pump.

"They're using the security taps, they're changing the locks out," Griffin said. "We're encouraging our member to go and open the dispensers on a very frequent basis, a couple times a week at least." 

The problem of skimmers could soon be a thing of the past. 

"Visa and Mastercard are requiring that we change all the card readers at our pumps by October 2017," Griffin said.

Those new readers will prevent a skimmer's ability to steal information. 

In the meantime, one way residents can protect themselves is to check for a Department of Agriculture seal on gas pumps before using it, police said.

If the seal is broken contact the gas station attendant.

If you're in a gas station and you see some guy in a van pull up to an outside pump and one guy goes in the store while you're pumping gas and the other guy all of a sudden walks up, unlocks that dispenser and opens it up, that's not right," Griffin said. "Say something, go inside and let us know. By customers, store owners, and the state of Michigan working together, we can really take a bite out of these guys."

If you see any suspicious items on gas pumps you should report them.

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