Credit Card Skimmers Continue to Steal from Claycordians

August 12, 2014 14:50 pm · 31 comments

If you’ve recently used your credit/debit card at the gas station in the area of Pine Hollow & Ygnacio Valley Rd. in Concord, you better check your bank statement.

The following is from a fellow Claycordian….

Wanted to alert readers to check their credit card statements and transactions online. Used my Visa at a local gas station at Pine Hollow and Ygnacio (the car wash one) over the weekend and today my bank called and emailed about a $254 charge from Shoppers Drug Mart.

Now have to get new cards, etc. Normally I do not use a Visa at a gas station so just a heads up the skimmers may be back.

Thanks for the heads-up!

TOB August 12, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Sad to say it’s not physical skimmers anymore so people are looking in wrong places. So that tape seal means nothing. They are catching the transactions at the point of sale being transmitted for authorization. Don’t need to add a device anymore. I had same thing happen paying inside. Skimmers are outdated and can easily be detected. All hacking into the POS system. Don’t matter where you pay, transaction as it get authorized getting hacked data stolen. Tons of bots that do this, Zues is one with many variants. Best to carry cash with you when you go out. Target was a small example of a bigger problem, not skimming devices. Its hacking not skimming. Inside or out won’t matter.

Z-Man August 12, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Great point TOB points out…. What pump # do you pump at?
I took a look and have no charges and use the pump near the exit of the car wash , closest to the vacuum and wax station at the above location at Pine Hollow and YVR

Dorothy August 12, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Lucky the bank called on that.

Cash is king, also called the universal gift card since it can be used anywhere. Just don’t flash it around.

Why August 12, 2014 at 4:13 PM

People will never learn, use cash!

Dwight Schrute August 12, 2014 at 4:16 PM

@ TOB – Or pay with a reputable Credit Card that you can protest a purchase…easy piesey!

Concord resident August 12, 2014 at 4:23 PM

I have got hit there about 4 months ago, the pumps there are low security , low end and not updated, I don’t go to the gas station with the numbers backwards, low end technology!!!! Booo

The OP August 12, 2014 at 4:43 PM

@ #1 – think it was probably the inside point of sale terminal, as I paid for gas outside (w/ the card) first, then went inside and used the card again for a car wash. Happened to notice they have a really, really old point of sale card reader, almost dial up modem style. Won’t be making that mistake again. I did notice everyone in line in front of me paying with (mostly) debit cards at that same POS terminal which is why I emailed in the warning.

Jesse August 12, 2014 at 4:44 PM

It didn’t necessarily happen at the gas station. It could be just a coincidence that it happened after you bought gas there. Chances are it was stolen well before then. Millions and millions of credit card numbers have been stolen from Target, Michaels, JCPenny, 7-11, and JetBlue to name just a few, as well as from companies that process credit and debit transactions. The hackers break into the computer systems, steal the info, then sell the card numbers to other other criminals. Last year the Feds broke up a ring that had stolen 160 million card numbers from a dozen retailers over six years. They sold American credit card numbers for $10 and European card numbers for $50. We should all assume that our credit card numbers have been stolen and keep a sharp eye on our accounts.

AnotherAnon----- Those using DEBIT cards are at greater risk August 12, 2014 at 5:06 PM

than those using CREDIT cards, because your debit card will allow a thief to clean out your bank account, but a credit card will merely be a charge which can be disputed with the issuing bank. Debit cards usually don’t allow a charge to be disputed. I monitor my credit card accounts ONLINE, usually every day or two. And, I don’t have any debit cards.

I'm The Urban Spaceman August 12, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Nearest Shoppers Drug Mart appears to be in the Toronto area.

Tom August 12, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Cash is sounder safer than ever. Or a credit card, which is the banks money, not yours.

Your Choice August 12, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Why do people continue to use those cards?
Why do you trust simple 4 digit encryption. Might as well walk around with money hanging out of your pockets.

Card companies don’t care if you get ripped off, to them it is nothing more than a cost of doing business.
Gas stations take $50s, use cash. In long run it will save you money by reducing knee jerk impulse purchases.

Shoppers Drug Mart August 12, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Curses! Foiled again! (twirling evil mustache)

RaD August 12, 2014 at 6:13 PM

When we got hit by one we contacted the gas station to let them know and they said never ever use the machines that are not in sight of the cashier’s windows. The lady told us that whenever they have had a problem it was ALWAYS the ones that could not be seen by the window. Just FYI…

Lisa August 12, 2014 at 6:52 PM

I’m not going to use cash, because I’ve got my young kids with me most of the time, and I don’t want to get them out of the car to pay. I use credit: I get rewards and the surety that any fraudulent charges are easily taken care of. If the cc companies have to keep experiencing loss from this kind of fraud they’ll have to improve their security. I almost never carry cash. If lost or stolen it’s virtually impossible to replace. When paid in full each month they are a great tool.

bigdaddy August 12, 2014 at 7:26 PM

not a big deal, the bank has insurance, and puts the money back in your account

Did You Know August 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Know that every transaction you make electronically from card usage to rewards at grocery stores, all that information is sold to data brokers. They know who you are, where you shop, how much alcohol you buy, if you buy tobacco products. What your kids wear, if they go to the dentist regularly, if anyone is on medication, etc.

You willingly an naively give up all that information fueling a multi billion dollar industry. …. they know more about your habits than you do.
The information is processed and is for sale.

Ancient Mariner August 12, 2014 at 8:02 PM

I used my debit card for everything until skimmers and identity theft (Target) became too much of a problem. Now I use cash or credit cards because, as other posters have noted, it’s the bank’s money, not mine. If I’m skimmed, my entire account can be wiped out and I might not be able to get the money reimbursed by the bank, or it might take a long time. with a credit card fraud I’m liable only for the first $50 of a bad charge.

@Ancient Mariner-----More often than not, the bank doesn't deduct that $50 August 12, 2014 at 9:35 PM

I’ve never had my credit card bank charge me that fifty bucks, and I’ve had several card disputes, the latest was from a hotel reservation in France. When I got home, I called the bank to dispute an incorrect charge, they removed the charge immediately while the charge was being investigated. Three months later, after the hotel disputed MY dispute, the bank notified me the charge was gone permanently. The card is a Sapphire Preferred Visa, from Chase. Great customer service.

anarchist August 12, 2014 at 10:01 PM

sorry but cash is stupid. you’re asking to get robbed. and oh praytell please tell me how do you use cash at a costco gss station? plus my debit card gives me 1.5% cash back. i make hundreds of dollars per year.

VicSD August 12, 2014 at 10:02 PM

With all the reports about these, not sure why people continue to use their cc’s outside at gad stations. For years now, I take the extra 5 minutes to go inside just because of all these reports. Gas station attendants cannot monitor the pumps with so many people inside buying stuff. It’s an extra 5 mins maybe, to go inside…BUT so worth it, to save your money and your account.

anarchist August 12, 2014 at 10:14 PM

you get what you pay for. shop at a cheap gas station with lax encryption and you will be hacked. that’s why i only buy “top tier” gas with special additives.

Another victim, different location August 12, 2014 at 10:30 PM

We had a rash of charges at the Costco gas station in Antioch with our AMEX card. Fortunately AMEX is very cooperative in not holding us responsible. We had some legitimate charges mixed in with fraudulant charges just at that gas station. Creepy!!!

@anarchist, #21-----You pay $.32 more per gallon for marketing hype August 12, 2014 at 11:19 PM

I pay $3.67 at Costco, you pay $3.99 at Chevron, and we all buy the SAME gas, only the name is changed. The small stations don’t have their own refineries, so they buy from whoever gives them the best price, delivered in unmarked tankers. How many refineries are there in this area? Chevron, Tesoro are the two that immediately come to mind. Maybe Shell? ($.32/gal times 15 gallons =$4.80, which may not be much to you, but I’d rather keep that in MY pocket instead of Chevron’s.

Ancient Mariner August 12, 2014 at 11:19 PM

Thanks, 20.
Good to know.

Judge Roy Bean August 13, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Has to be an inside job. With all the surveillance cameras and such somebody is looking the other way when these skimmer / scan readers are installed.

Anon777 August 13, 2014 at 8:35 AM

USE CREDIT, not debit and pay attention to your accounts online!

Legal protection. These are also notably different, with credit cards offering more security.

Liability for lost or stolen cards. Credit cards still offer much greater protection in most cases for those whose cards are lost or stolen. As long as the customer reports the loss or theft in a timely manner, his/her maximum liability for purchases made after the card disappeared is $50. The Electronic Funds Transfer Act now gives debit card customers the same protection from loss or theft – but only if the customer reports it within 48 hours of discovery. After 48 hours, the customer’s liability rises to $500; after 60 days there is no limit.

The Grant August 13, 2014 at 9:22 AM

I never touch cash and use Amex for everything (earn %) and pay off the balance every month.

NCIS August 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Skimmers are no longer required. I just returned from a visit to a Naval Airstation Fallon NV, and heard from several out there that were cases of credit card # thefts and fraud using some sort of wireless scanner/readers. These work by reading the built in information direct from the credit card magnetic strips in everybody’s wallets and purses. Although to most of you this sounds far fetched and strange. I contacted a person I know within the DoD and NCIS community back in Washington D.C. and they confirmed that this new phenomenon is in fact real life and occurring across the world. Just that news media outlets have yet to highly publish because the credit card companies have pleaded with them that this will destroy their business.
Just providing some additional info for peoples general knowledge.

R. Teicheira August 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Okay: first there is something called a CPP or Common Point of Purchase. This is the processes the card brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc) use to determine if there is a major breach or just a small local skimming scheme.

Second: just because it was the last place you used your card doesn’t always mean that was the place where your card got skimmed. Thieves can sometimes wait up to months before using/selling the card. Yes, sometimes the second they get it they go use it, but not always. And I would also check to see if there are any purchases under $25 that shouldn’t be there. Thieves will sometimes do little purchases here and there to determine if the card is active and useable. And most places don’t require I.D. or signature for purchases under $25.

Third: next to cash, single use cards and gift cards, credit cards are the best to use on an AFD (automated fuel dispenser AKA a fuel pump). It is a lot easier to get your money back then if it was taken directly our of your checking account (such as when you use your debit card – even when you use them as a credit card). If you use a particular fuel brand more often than others, look into if they have a branded gas card (I know Chevron and shell both have one, not sure about 76 or the others). These cards can only be used at that branded gas station, so even if the thieves get your card information they will most likely just forget about it, as it is more or less worthless to them.

And to NCIS: They are still skimmers, of a sort, just far more sophisticated. The thief doesn’t have to go back and retrieve the skimmer, they can leave it there till it’s caught and then they can move on.

Last thing: always tug/jossle the card reader. If it is a lay over skimmer, the front will pop right off with just a little pressure. If that happens, go report it to the station attendant and move to another pump. The attendant (if they are trained right) should then block that pump off and not let anyone use it till local authorities have cleared it.

FYI: I do work in the retail card industry and I deal with this stuff daily. I primarily deal with the backend systems (network, servers, etc) but I do have to interact with Point of Sale systems daily.

TOB August 18, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Old thread but should be revisited. Read my 1st post now read this story that’s just now being released, dead on!

Don’t let name in link scare ya. Like I said, best scams are yet to be found. This is just but a sample of bigger things to come. Sure you can feel secure using Credit Card but becomes a PITA when you have to cancel/reissue. In years ahead what will you do, cancel every other month reissue as it will be that bad!

Skimmers are not the problem today. POS hacks are!

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