How to avoid getting skimmed when you’re filling your car with gas

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In our ongoing efforts to educate and inform, our partners at Patriot Capital have asked us to share the following article written by Fredrick Kunkle that appeared in the Washington Post on June 16, 2017. Read the original article here.

 

When you’re filling your car at the gas pump this summer, you could be also be giving a thief access to your bank account or credit card.

Gas stations are a chief target of criminals who use data-grabbing skimmers to siphon data from drivers’ credit and ATM cards, according to law enforcement officials and gas retailers. Almost daily, the secretive and illegal devices are discovered at gas stations across the country, such as here, here and here. Earlier this month, Fairfax County police reported finding 21 skimmers at 15 different locations in the past year.

Skimmers work like legitimate banking card readers, but they are secretly installed in or on the pumps by criminals to steal people’s financial data. Gas stations are particularly vulnerable, but banks and other businesses have also been hit.

“The people who are doing skimming — it’s amazing, some of the things they do,” said Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president for government relations at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Gas stations are targeted because of their physical layout and the volume of their business. Thieves find it relatively easy to use gas station islands as cover while they tamper with the machines, Beckwith said. The devices are placed either inside the pumps by thieves who jimmy them open or outside the pumps using overlays on the pump’s card reader. Usually, thieves put one skimmer in a single gas station, but that one device can capture a lot of card data.

NACS, which represents more than 2,100 retailers, says nearly 80 percent of the fuel in the United States is retailed through them. Although only a small fraction of those fill-ups get skimmed, a small fraction of 29 million daily fuel customers can mean a lot. A single skimmer can collect data from 30 to 100 cards a day, NACS says.

NACS

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) says special sealing tape can help consumers and gas station operators spot pumps that have been tampered with. (Screen grab from NACS video; courtesy of NACS)

NACS

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) says special sealing tape can help consumers and gas station operators spot pumps that have been tampered with. (Screen grab from NACS video; courtesy of NACS)

To counter them, retailers have been sealing the pumps with special tape. If you see that the seal is broken, you should not use the machine and should alert the operator, he said.

Retailers think the problem will diminish once consumers and retailers fully adopt chip technology, according to Rob Underwood, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America.

“As of now, there is a wait time for retailers to have access to the new equipment, which costs around $20,000 per pump,” Underwood said in an email. He said consumers and retailers will still remain vulnerable to fraud until credit card companies allow retailers to require consumers to use PINs on transactions.

NACS has produced a video for its retailers that’s also helpful for consumers, which you can view here:

Here are some tips from law enforcement officials and retailers to protect you at the pump:

  • Use cards with PIN numbers

You’re better off using a card with a PIN if you buy gas, according to NACS and PMAA. NACS, citing a 2013 Federal Reserve study, says you’re four times more likely to be ripped off if your transaction is made without a PIN.

“Signature-based transactions are processed on the antiquated Visa and MasterCard systems that do not process in real-time, versus the instant operation of PIN debit. Not using PIN also increases the cost of the transactions, which is passed back to the consumer,” NACS says. It also says that even old dispensers have technology to encrypt PIN numbers, and that gas pumps have been equipped with them since the early 1990s. “PINs provide a higher level of security. That is why banks require them for transactions at ATMs,” it says.

However, it should be noted that Fairfax County police say that if you’re ripped off via a credit card, you have more protection as a consumer than if the thieves do somehow get your PIN and access to your bank account.

“When the money comes out of that bank account, it’s a lot more difficult to get reimbursed,” Fairfax County Police Officer Tawny Wright said.

That said, the retailers — who bear the cost for fraud — still say they think customers are better off using the PIN.

  • Avoid older gas pumps if you can

These pumps are easier to break into and tamper with. Newer pumps have technology to prevent being ripped off.

  • Check to see whether the pump has been tampered with

Thieves install internal devices by opening the pumps and putting them inside. But gas stations have fought back by using serial-numbered security tape that track the reasons why the dispenser door was opened. If the tape is cut, damaged or broken, it should “bleed” to alert people that it’s been tampered with, NACS says.

For external skimmers, which are installed over an existing keypad, look to see if the keypad is raised. You can do this by running your fingernail along the edge, NACS says. The skimmer may also be loose or wiggle when  you touch it.

Police said newer Bluetooth skimmers are particularly tricky to detect because they can be hidden entirely inside the pumps.

  • There’s an app for that

Retailers can use the SkimDefend app, along with special NACS tamper-alert decals, to track attempts to mess with the pumps.

  • What should you do if you suspect a pump has been tampered with? 

Customers should alert the gas station operator, who should shut the pump down immediately and have it inspected by a technician.

NACS also advises that no one, including the technician, should touch or remove the device. Let the police handle it. In large cases, the FBI and Secret Service sometimes get involved, NACS says.

  • Check your banking and credit card statements frequently for suspicious charges 

If you see anything out of order, call your bank or credit company to report it right away.

If you are a petroleum retailer unsure as to whether now is the time to upgrade your equipment with EMV technology, have questions about equipment and/or financing, we invite you to contact us at 1.800.451.4021 and along with our partners at Patriot Capital, we can explore your equipment and financing options to ensure your location(s) have the latest and greatest data security and your customers’ bank accounts and credit cards are safe from such data skimming technology and practices.

We appreciate your continued business and support!

Gilbarco Announces First US Fuel Dispenser EMV “Chip” Transaction

Gilbarco First US EMV Dispenser
The following article has been reproduced from the original content found at http://www.gilbarco.com/us/news/gilbarco-announces-first-us-fuel-dispenser-emv-chip-transaction

Heightens Security and Meets Growing Consumer Expectations

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Gilbarco Veeder-Root has announced the successful processing of the first US EMV™ “chip” transaction at a fuel dispenser, utilizing Gilbarco’s Passport® Point-of-Sale (POS) and Encore® fuel dispensers on the First Data network (NYSE:FDC).

Gilbarco’s Passport POS solution is the first POS in the US to process forecourt EMV transactions, leveraging FlexPay™ CRINDS from Gilbarco.  Gilbarco expects forecourt EMV payments to quickly begin turning on across the country at the large installed base of FlexPay CRINDS as the software is released for payment networks throughout the year, and as fraud migrates to less secure payment points and security-conscious customers migrate to those sites with enhanced security.  The Passport POS system has supported EMV in-store transactions since May 2016.  With simple software upgrades, Passport sites can be easily configured and enabled for full EMV transactions at the dispenser for all major card types.

“Gilbarco is proud to continue to lead the market on EMV technologies, both inside the store and at the dispenser.  Our customers are looking to enable EMV at the dispenser as soon as possible, to provide the security their customers expect of them, and to get the most of the forecourt EMV hardware investments they’ve already made,” said Mark Williams, Vice President of Marketing, Gilbarco Veeder-Root.

Kamlesh Patel, owner of the 49 Fuels site processing the first US forecourt EMV transaction was eager to enable EMV at the forecourt, stating, “Our dispensers were already EMV-ready, so turning on EMV at the dispenser just required a simple Passport software upgrade.  We’ve seen our customers rapidly become accustomed to paying with their chip cards inside the store on our Passport system, and they are quickly expecting to be able to use their chip card at the dispenser, as they know that it gives them additional security.”

For more information about the Fundamentals of EMV, please go to http://www.gilbarco.com/us/learning-center/emv-c-store-retailers.

About Gilbarco Veeder-Root
Gilbarco Veeder-Root is the worldwide technology leader for retail and commercial fueling operations. It offers the broadest range of integrated solutions from the forecourt to the convenience store and head office. For over 150 years, Gilbarco has earned the trust of its customers by providing long-term partnership, uncompromising support and proven reliability. Major product lines include: fuel dispensers, dispenser media, point-of-sale systems, payment systems, tank gauges, software development and integration, fleet management systems and nozzles.patriot-logo

For more information about Gilbarco EMV or any other Gilbarco Veeder-Root products,  feel free to contact us at 1.800.451.4021.  And that’s not all!  Not only can we help with your equipment needs but our great partners at Patriot Capital are THE Equipment Financing Specialist of our industry.

We appreciate your continued business and support!

More On EMV From Our Friends At Petroleum Processing Solutions

Petroleum Processing Solutions logoWith all merchants who accept credit cards facing the impending shift to the EMV standards, our partners at Petroleum Processing Solutions will be providing us with some helpful information to guide you through the EMV mine field of equipment, processing standards and requirements all will face in the next few years.

About EMVCo

EMV Chip CardEMVCo is a worldwide group comprised of six member organizations (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay, and Visa) and supported by numerous banks, vendors, and other industry stakeholders who act as associates.  Among these associates, EMVCo is managed by a Board of Managers and an Executive Committee, as well as various Working Groups.  Their goal is to facilitate the most secure payment transactions possible through utilizing and evolving the EMV Specifications through processes such as card and terminal evaluation, security evaluation, and management of interoperability issues.

8 FAQs About EMV Cards

PPS EMV article 1Since the shift began towards EMV began here in America a year and a half ago, vendors and industry professionals have had to implement a great deal of new technology and processes into their businesses.  Because it is an ongoing process, many questions are often asked about EMV, including what makes them more secure than traditional cards, how they are used, if “card-dipping” is the only way to use them, whether or not they will require a PIN, who will be liable for costs in the event of fraud, whether or not the shift EMV is complete, if an EMV card will work at a retailer not yet supporting the technology, and if an EMV card can be used while traveling outside the country.

Living with EMV

PPS EMV article 2Introducing EMV technology has come with its fair share of challenges and difficulties.  According to industry professionals, certain trends have been established, and from these trends, the course of the payment industry can be speculated going forward.  Among these findings are that most customers have chip cards in their possession, and that more stores will be accepting them in 2017.  As well, chip cards have been found to reduce counterfeit fraud and protect the card’s magnetic stripe (while they remain), and thanks to using data from the previous year and a half to improve the technology, transactions using the chip are now much faster and easier.  In addition, the loud beeping noises from EMV terminals are not likely to be necessary anymore.  Also, while ATM card skimming fraud saw a rise in activity during 2016, upgraded ATMs compatible with EMV technology should deter further card skimming.

Understanding Liability Shift

As EMV becomes the standard in payment processing technology, having the technology capable of accepting chip cards will no longer be an option for merchants.  As of now, magnetic stripes are still accepted as the transition continues, but businesses that do not support the more secure EMV transactions could pay a heavy cost in the event of fraudulent transactions.  As of October 1, 2015, a global POS counterfeit fraud liability shift went into effect in the United States, which holds that merchants that are not EMV certified are liable for any fraud resulting from a transaction with a customer in possession of a chip-enabled card.

If you would like to learn more about EMV and/or Petroleum Processing Solutions, contact us at (800) 451-4021.

 

The John W. Kennedy Company appreciates your business and continued support!

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EMV Deadline Leads POS Trends

This article has been reproduced from Convenience Store Decisions first appearing on April 2, 2015

EMVMobile payment technology and going paperless will impact point-of-sale (POS) and back office trends in 2015. But, the big focus this year for convenience stores is the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline to become compliant with EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip technology.

U.S. retailers are expected to spend more than $8 billion on POS devices, ATMs and credit/debit cards to convert to the EMV standard, according to a study by Javelin Strategy and Research.

The cost to retailers is staggering, but convenience store stakeholders have expressed their commitment to maintaining security standards and are among the leading industries to adopt new POS technology.

Flash Foods Inc., which has 172 stores in Georgia and Florida, has used scanning, POS and back office technology since 1997.

“With scanning at our locations, we also utilize a business intelligence software that allows our marketing, operations, financial and loss prevention departments to get alerts and do reporting on all POS transactions and events,” said Jenny Bullard, chief information officer for Flash Foods.
Flash Foods launched its ‘Rewards in a Flash’ loyalty program in 2005, and in 2008 introduced an Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment card called ‘Go Blue.’

“That allows us to process payment outside of the credit card processors, eliminating credit card interchange fees. In 2014, we launched our Flash Foods Mobile App that enables mobile payment with Go Blue,” she said.

MOBILE OPTIONS
More convenience stores are offering mobile payment options through their own cards as well as outside mobile systems, like ApplePay. “Mobile is the future of payments,” said Stephen Orfei, general manager, PCI Security Standards Council. “It’s exciting to see its potential being realized securely with recent advancements in the space and use of technologies like tokenization.”

Orfei said EMV chip migration is a great opportunity for convenience stores to look at overall POS terminal security and technology.

“The PCI PIN Transaction Security standard provides robust security protections and a secure foundation for businesses to accept new payment technologies—such as mobile—and take advantage of additional security layers like point-to-point encryption and tokenization,” Orfei said.

Flash Foods is among the many convenience store companies already in the throes of EMV migration.

“To meet the October EMV deadline we are installing EMV capable pin pads in all our locations. There will need to be updates to our POS and our credit card processor software to make EMV work,” Bullard said. “As for the October 2017 deadline for fuel pumps, we are still in the planning stages to meet that deadline. Because of older pumps at some our locations that will have to be replaced, the cost for meeting that deadline is concerning.”

Security will continue to be a factor in all POS and back office decisions within the convenience store industry.

“With rules and regulations from PCI changing every year as we have seen with PCI 3.0 updates, software and segregation of the credit card environment will continue to challenge the software solutions companies as well as retailers that use their product,” Bullard said.

You can view the original article at http://www.cstoredecisions.com/2015/04/02/emv-deadline-leads-pos-trends/#_

Feel free to call us at 800.451.4021 if we can help you with EMV or any of your service station needs!

Thank you for your continued support!

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