Summer is a time when we fill up at the gas pump more than usual for fun road trips and family vacations. But it’s also a time to be vigilant about protecting your identity. Fraudsters abound and some are trying to collect your personal information through “skimming” your credit or debit card information at the gas pump. Here are four tips to protect your identity at the pump.
Use a credit card instead of a debit card. When you use a debit card, funds are immediately deducted from your account. With a credit card, you have until your monthly payment due date before remitting payment, allowing you more time to review your online transactions and report any suspicious activity.
Run your debit card as a credit card. Running your debit card as a “credit” transaction means you avoid entering your personal identification number (PIN) to complete a transaction. This can prevent skimming devices (or someone looking over your shoulder) from obtaining and using your PIN number.
Check statements online. Sign up for online banking so you can check your transactions right away instead of waiting for monthly bank and credit card paper statements. Make sure all transactions can be accounted for.
Avoid suspicious machines. If the card reader on the pump looks suspicious in any way (e.g., has an unresponsive keypad or discolored card reader), don’t use it.