When I’m traveling on business in the Mid Atlantic, Wawa is a great place to stop. They literally provide just about anything a road warrior would desire.
Unfortunately their self service pumps are the latest targets of payment card (credit/debit) skimming devices. Just about any self service machine that accepts payments, or dispenses money (ATM machines) can have a skimming device mounted to it.
CBS 3 Philadephia reports:
With gas prices rising and the state of the economy in disarray, even thieves are resorting to more creative measures. At least two Wawa filling stations in the Philadelphia area have fallen victim to a string of recent credit card skimming scams.
“Just like any identity theft, until you see it on your credit card or bank statements, it’s really important to check for any usual transactions,” said Ela Voluck of AAA.
Thieves place a device over the card reader and can instantly record the information on the card.
Unfortunately, no pictures of the devices at Wawa seem to be available.
Recently, Redbox, a company that dispenses movies at self-service kiosks were the target of skimming devices. I have to commend them for being transparent and proactive by letting the public see exactly how this occurs.
They provided a warning on their website, along with some interesting pictures.
The only defense a person has is to carefully inspect these devices at self service places, such as the gas pumps at Wawa. Some of them are pretty bad and will literally fall off if handled too roughly.
Here are some pictures of skimming devices:
Skimmers are mounted on ATM machines, or any remote self service device. There are also portable ones that dishonest employees use to skim a card when they take it for payment.
Google has a neat sampling of pictures, which can be seen, here.