Auditor: Skimmers benefit from stalled technology, not you

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Delay in roll-out of new tech could help thieves

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Two financial-payment giants have delayed the deadline for gas stations to install credit card chip readers, which leaves consumers vulnerable to having their credit or debit card information stolen by skimming devices, the county auditor said today.

Skimmers are electronic devices that thieves attach to gas pumps and other card readers to record people’s financial information and debit card pass codes.

Local gas stations have taken steps to reduce the risk of fraud by installing store-specific gas pump keys, which makes it difficult for criminals to install skimmers.

But chip readers are an effective way to protect people’s personal financial information from theft, and gas stations now have until October 2020 to install them on gas pumps. Visa and Mastercard pushed back the deadline for compliance by three years.

"Clearly that makes the pumps more vulnerable," said Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith, who has led statewide efforts to crack down on skimmers.

Weights and measures inspectors in Keith’s office will check more than 60 gas stations during the last 10 days of 2016 for skimmers, during a holiday sweep. Inspectors have found now devices so far, but they have a couple hundred more pumps to check.

However, since Dec. 17, three skimming devices were found in Butler County. Devices also have been identified and removed in the Toledo and Lima areas.

Skimmers often are installed around the major holidays when many people are traveling and may not pay as close attention to their financial accounts.