TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – WTOL spoke with Lucas County residents Thursday about how to avoid identity theft at gas pumps.
Most residents were really unsure of what to look for or weren’t aware that this was happening.
Most admitted to using a card at the pump, and while they didn’t use their pin they also didn’t know how else to protect themselves.
It may take a bit longer to check the pump and pay inside, but it could save the hassle of finding the thief who stole your information.
“I’ve had my credit card hacked before and it is a horrible thing to go through,” said Kristin Calkins, a Toledo resident. “I don’t want to have to go through it again.”
Some say they might be able to spot the skimmer.
“Well I pump enough gas to know that I kind of recognize what pumps and credit card slots look like,” explained Frank Robinson, a Sylvania Township resident. “I think I would spot something if it was funny.”
The Lucas County auditor say using cash or credit and going inside to pay is safer. They say to avoid using pin number and gift cards to stay safe and to check that the seal on the pump is not broken.
“Most people are still not aware of their vulnerability by using the gas pump and paying outside,” said Anita Lopez, Lucas County Auditor.
In the past two months two Lucas County gas stations have discovered skimmers. Both were shell stations and did not have video surveillance.
“These thieves are getting smarter,” explained Lopez. “This is a new device, they are going to try to find a way to steal and they know that majority of the gas station pumps are vulnerable, so we have to stay ahead of the thieves.”
In order to stay ahead of the thieves the county is sending a letter to every gas station asking them to place skimmer warning stickers on their pumps to make customers more alert as they fuel up.