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The new way criminals are stealing your money at the gas pump

Gas stations have tried to keep your credit card safe from skimmers with stickers, locks and cameras at the pump. But it turns out, all of that may not even matter.

Some sophisticated crooks are skipping the skimmers altogether and are hacking the credit card reader at the pumps. Knowing that makes it “nerve-wracking” for Chad Hedrick, who lives in Fort Myers when he has to get gas for his car.

Recent security features are making it harder for criminals to sneak skimmers on the pumps, according to Visa, a global payments technology company, but your card is still at risk. In a letter, Visa said it has uncovered “sophisticated cybercrime groups” hacking into credit card machines using malware.

That begs the question: how do you protect yourself?

“I don’t use my credit card at all on any of these machines,” Lucy Lopez said while filling her tank at a Wawa in Fort Myers. “Not on this one, not any of them. If I don’t have cash, I go inside with my credit-debit card.”

Lopez is right.

If you want to protect yourself, pay with cash. If you have to use a card, head inside the station as it is more likely to have the chip reader there, which will protect you from recent hacking techniques.

Reporter:Rich Kolko
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