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Thieves have been stealing credit card info at gas pumps. Now there’s an app to foil them.

Shalina Chatlani Sep 6, 2019
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Skimmer circuits can record thousands of credit card numbers and transmit them via Bluetooth to a criminal’s computer. Shalina Chatlani/KPBS

Thieves have been stealing credit card info at gas pumps. Now there’s an app to foil them.

Shalina Chatlani Sep 6, 2019
Skimmer circuits can record thousands of credit card numbers and transmit them via Bluetooth to a criminal’s computer. Shalina Chatlani/KPBS
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Last year, law enforcement officials found more than a thousand gas pumps nationwide that had been fitted with “skimmers” — electronic devices that record credit card numbers and, in some cases, transmit them wirelessly over Bluetooth to a criminal’s computer.

Criminals can open a gas pump’s front panel and install a skimmer in minutes. (Shalina Chatlani/KPBS)

This could have serious financial consequences for gas stations starting next year, when a law will require them to either spend thousands of dollars to install pumps that read the more-secure chips in credit cards or be liable for fraudulent charges. A new smartphone application could help law enforcement find skimmers before they cause too much damage. 

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