New Jersey officials warn gas station card readers vulnerable to scammers

Antionette Lee
December 29, 2019 - 10:48 am
Gas station pumps with card reader.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Not so fast with that debit card at the pump. New Jersey officials are recommending that people only use credit or cash when paying for gas, in light of recent card scammers. 

The warning from the New Jersey Cybersecurity team says that those gas station pumps which only read the magnetic strips as oppossed to the chip readers are a problem. 

According to officials, that outdated software is putting customers at risk for fraud. The data from the stripe can be sent unencrypted to the gas station’s network where it can be stolen.

Joe says his daughter was one of those affected by the recent breach at Wawa. And yet, his method of payment at the pump is using a debit card. "We keep a close eye on our account," he said. 

Related: Wawa reveals massive credit, debit card data breach at ‘potentially all’ locations

But John says you wont get him, as he's using cash. "I dont know what they got going on, but this happened before," he said. "You know you don't want to get caught up in the mix."

He's right. Officials said that in the past, pumps in the state have also been targets of payment card skimmer attacks, where physical devices are placed on the gas pumps to steal data from the card’s magnetic stripe.

And while Thomas was also paying with cash at the pump, he recommended everyone use their own best judgment. "Everybody's different," he said.

New Jersey gas station owners have until October to update card readers to be chip compatible.