KENTUCKY (FOX19) - State and local authorities are stepping up inspections to prevent thieves from stealing consumers' data at the gas pump.
For the first time ever, Kentucky inspectors who normally check gas pumps for gas quality and quantity will now be looking for credit card skimmers too, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced Tuesday.
"This form of identity theft, known as card skimming, is exploding around the world," Quarles said. "Losses due to skimming are expected to exceed $3 billion globally this year. Kentucky Department of Agriculture inspectors are on the lookout for evidence of skimming to protect Kentucky consumers and businesses."
As part of the inspection, they look for signs that a pump has been compromised by thieves who install electronic devices called "skimmers" that capture data from consumers' credit cards. The data is used to produce fake credit cards and make fraudulent charges on the victim's account.
Officials suggest consumers always look for signs that a pump has been tampered with, such as locks that appear to have been compromised, doors that may have been pried open, and security tape that is broken or doesn't adhere to the pump.
Consumers may report suspected tampering to the retailer, law enforcement, or the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. To submit a report to the KDA, call (502) 573-0282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You're asked to include the retailer's name and location, the pump number, and the fuel grade.