4 Tips for Paying at the Gas Pump


How many times have you heard that saying, “it’s not safe to use your debit card at a gas pump?” Or really anywhere for that matter?

The truth is when you are smart about how you pay, it’s completely safe to use your debit card anywhere.

Fraudsters are notorious for placing card skimming devices on gas pumps. Here are some ways you can be smart when you pay at the pump:

1. Choose Credit
Even though you’re technically paying for your gas with your debit card, when asked if the card you’re using is a debit or credit card, always select “credit.” This will bypass the pump asking you for your PIN. Doing this will make sure that the fraudster has one less bit of information about your card.

2. Pump near the door
Fraudsters choose their gas pumps wisely. They usually opt to outfit the one that is farthest from the on-site convenience store. This way, their activity is out of the range of any security cameras at the store’s entrance. Choose the pump that is closest to the store and always cover the number pad with your hand when inputting your information.

3. Look for signs of tampering
Check out the card reader very carefully. Do the numbers on the PIN pad look raised? Do they look newer or bigger than the rest of the machine? Does anything look like it doesn’t belong? Does the card reader feel loose when you attempt to put in your card? Is the fuel pump’s seal broken? These are red flags that the card reader may have been fitted with a skimming device.

4. Use your tech resources
There are several free anti-skimming apps you can install on your phone, such as Skimmer Scanner. Using these apps, you can scan a card reader for a skimming device and get an alert if one is detected. You can also check your phone’s Bluetooth to see if any strange letters or numbers appear under “other devices.”

Whether paying at the pump, a retail establishment or online the purchases you make with your Greater Texas or Aggieland Credit Union debit card are protected with Visa Zero Liability*. Visa Zero Liability is just like an insurance policy on your debit card. If your card is ever lost, stolen or compromised you will not be liable for any fraudulent charges. You will receive a full refund. Your card is also protected by 24/7 fraudulent transaction monitoring.

With this additional knowledge you can now be a smarter and more confident card user.

*Visa’s Zero Liability Policy covers U.S. – issued cards and does not apply to certain commercial card transactions or any transactions not processed by Visa. You must notify your financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer.