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Why EMV Chip Cards Don't Protect You at Gas Pumps

As retailers push to update their credit card readers and systems to be compatible with EMV chip technology, crooks have turned their attention to gas pumps to steal card information. There has been a spike in credit card skimmers found on ATMs and fuel pumps. Skimmers are devices often nearly undetectable that fit over a card reader and copy credit or debit card information from the magnetic strip when you swipe your card. Identity thieves can then use the data to run up fraudulent charges or sale your card information on the dark web.

Payment networks aren’t requiring gas stations to update card readers until October 2020. Self-service gas pumps formally known as ‘automated fuel dispensers’ were given this extension because upgrading gas pumps is far more expensive than upgrading normal in-store payment terminals. This means that even though you might be carrying new cards with EMV chips, they’re just as susceptible to fraud at the pump as they were before. In fact, they may be more vulnerable now that identity thieves are targeting those terminals more.

How to protect yourself from skimming - Credit or Debit card fraud is rarely the first thing on your mind when filling up. There are, however, a few things you can do to give yourself a little more protection:

Give the card reader a good look - Credit card skimmers aren’t easy to spot. In most cases, they don’t look different from the card reader itself. Even so, keep an eye out for signs of tampering. Look for mismatching materials, a crooked or misaligned reader, or different color schemes. If something looks suspicious, ask someone from the gas station to inspect the reader or simply use another one.

Use pumps with high visibility - Thieves are less likely to install a skimming device in the open. This means you’re less likely to come across one at the fuel pump closest to the front window of the gas station. Fuel-pumps that are not monitored 24/7 are more likely to have skimmers installed since they are not in high traffic areas.

 Review your statement carefully - This won’t prevent skimming, but it can keep things from getting worse if you do fall victim to identity theft. Check your accounts online or by mobile app regularly and notify us toll free at 888-738-8000 should you suspect anything fraudulent.


We are Excited to Announce our Newest Employees!

Vicky Noel began working for The Guaranty in late August. She grew up on a farm and now lives near Portis. She graduated from Smith Center High School. Vicky has been married to Brad Noel for 36 years. Brad is a farmer/rancher in the Portis area. She has three daughters, Alecia (Josh) Smith, Rachel (Adam) Conway and Jordan (Brian) Gray and eight grandchil­dren: Ruby, Floyd, Hazel and Millie Smith, Max and Del Conway and Hadley and Piper Gray. Vicky had previously worked at MORE Chevrolet in Osborne for 16 years. Her responsibilities at The Guaranty will be loan assistant. She has been training in Beloit but will soon be located in the Smith Center office. In her spare time, Vicky enjoys quilting, reading and spending time with her grandchildren.

Olivia Quimpo joined our Smith Center staff in mid-September. She was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States with her mother and father when she was 13. Olivia graduated from Rancho High School in Las Vegas at the age of 16. She continued her education in the medical field at the Academy of Medical and Business Careers in Las Vegas. After graduation, she pursued a career in the medical field. Olivia and her significant other, Jerome, live in Lebanon and they have two children, JJ, who is 13 and Jade, who is 7. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and going for a long drive. You will find Olivia at the teller windows, processing your transactions or the friendly voice on the phone!