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No credit card skimmers found at gas pumps in Arizona so far this year

In 2019, Arizona's Weights and Services Division reports 209 skimmers were found on gas pumps in Arizona. It's changes made at the pump that have helped.

ARIZONA, USA — Technology that has made headlines for stealing your card information at the gas pump is on the decline in Arizona.

Gas skimmers are attached inside of the gas pump by criminals, which collect card data as people swipe their cards. The skimmer installer then uses the data to make fake credit cards to make fraudulent purchases.

Peaked in 2019

The highest amount of skimmers in Arizona was reported in 2019.

“We peaked at 209 skimmers that were found or were reported to our division,” Kevin Allen, Associate Director for the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s Weights and Measures Services Division said.

Allen warns though those were just what was found, others may have been attached at pumps and not reported.

The devices first started appearing in 2010, but Allen said by 2015 is when they really became a problem in Arizona.

No skimmers in 2022

After 2019, Allen said skimmers have been on the decline in Arizona.

So far, Allen said, none have been found in 2022 and reported to his department.

“That’s pretty awesome,” Allen said.

Allen said to not have any reported yet to Weights and Measures is a big deal.

“I’ve heard data that for each skimmer that’s captured, it can be up to $24,000 a criminal can make off of it,” Allen said.

Back in April of 2021, Allen said fuel stations had to switch their pumps to a more secure payment option like chip or tap-to-pay.

“If they didn’t do that, the shift for liability on fraudulent transactions goes from the payment card company to the retailer at that point,” Allen said.

Keep an eye out

Allen warns, just because no skimmers haven’t been reported to weights and measures yet, doesn’t mean they’re not still out there.

In the Valley, Allen said most retailers switched out their pumps, but outlying gas stations around Arizona may not have upgraded pumps yet.

For consumers, Allen said it’s still best to keep a watchful eye, as skimmers can be found on other card devices too.

“Anything from 3D printed technology to basically mimic the appearance of the device,” Allen said.

That’s why Allen said it’s best to double-check terminals before inserting or tapping your card.

“If there’s anything that looks unusual, or looks like the device has been tampered with, report that to local law enforcement,” Allen said.

Issues at fueling stations can be reported to Weights and Measures here.

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