Thieves are increasingly exploiting unprotected dispenser terminals to “skim” card data from customer payment cards used to purchase fuel. Retailers who have been victims of this crime face financial and brand damage, as their customers and their issuers seek to recover damages caused by these breaches. State regulators are also increasing inspections of dispenser terminals, while state legislators consider new laws aimed at requiring dispenser terminals be secure.
“Skimmers are a crime perpetrated against the retailer, to be certain,” said Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus. “But unlike other crimes, skimmers are also a crime against the retailers’ customers that takes place at the retailer’s location. The good news is that this risk is easily mitigated, if retailers follow some simple steps.”
Since 2011, the Conexxus (then PCATS) Data Security Committee has worked with major dispenser manufacturers to create a portfolio of resources that provide guidance for retailers seeking to reduce the risk of skimmers being installed on their fuel islands. Daily inspections of dispenser payment terminals sealed with serial numbered, tamper-evident tape are part of the tools retailers can use to keep their customers and businesses safe from skimmer thieves.
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