The agency is partnering with state and local law enforcement to stop this criminal practice
By NACS Online
The U.S. Secret Service is partnering with state and local law enforcement to help deter, investigate and prosecute criminal credit card skimming at fueling stations.
The U.S. Secret Service has issued an alert to state and local law enforcement, which contains specific technical information about how to look for skimming devices at fueling stations, preserve evidence and investigate skimming operations. Agents based in field offices and electronic and cyber-enabled financial crime task forces all the country are also fanning out to assist local law enforcement departments that, in partnership with businesses, can help minimize risks, stop skimming operations and catch those responsible.
Approximately 39 million Americans fill-up every day, and fuel dispensers have become one of many targets for thieves looking to steal credit and debit card information by skimming, an aggressive tactic used to illegally obtain consumer card data for fraudulent purposes. Skimming occurs when a third-party card-reading device is installed either outside or inside a fuel dispenser, which allows a thief to capture a customer’s credit and debit card information to create counterfeit cards.
Skimming is common at gas pumps because they are typically unattended. This level of anonymity makes investigations, arrests and prosecutions more difficult, but not impossible. Credit card fraud is a serious crime, a federal offense in many cases, that carries stiff penalties including heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences. For many, the potential reward outweighs the risk of being caught. In recent years, skimming operations have become more complex, with larger losses due to new technology and ties to organized crime.
To reduce the likelihood of skimming, NACS and Conexxus developed the WeCare Data Security Program, which provides simple guidelines and best practices designed to reduce the risk of card breaches at convenience store operations. WeCare Decals available through the WeCare Program are tamper-evident labels that help retailers identify potential security breaches when a device is opened by an unauthorized person and skimming devices are inserted at fuel dispensers or other unattended PIN-entry devices.
See how NACS can help protect your business against skimming at convenience.org/skimming.