Skimmers in Texas gas pumps threaten user card data

While they promote easy payment, gas station pumps can still pose danger to payment card users. Likewise, business owners have to feel secure about the payment system at their location. True protection comes from up-to-date credit card POS software as well as best practices during operation. ABC affiliate WFAA recently reported on some newly-discovered skimmers in Dallas, Texas.

The story pointed to some disturbing truths about the nature of skimming technology. In the past, one of the ways to test for tampering with terminals has been to physically investigate the unit itself. The source said that skimmers found in local pumps this summer were installed inside.

This is partly possible because a single key can grant access to multiple gas pumps, leaving several locations open to suspicious activity. The police reportedly have not determined how long the skimming devices were in place, and Financial Crimes Unit Lieutenant Tony Crawford described the amount of effort that's gone into this latest type of crime.

"They're taking steps to make sure there's no fingerprints on the deal by shrink wrapping," Crawford said. "They're sophisticated. They know what they're doing."

Krebs on Security took a close look at skimming devices last November. It said that Bluetooth technology allows criminals to obtain card data remotely after the device has gathered it. In some cases, the devices can use text messages to transmit card numbers. Either way, the trend shows thieves being increasingly hands-off when it comes to targeting card information.

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