CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – This week, the Texas Food and Fuel Association (TFFA) kicked off the first of its Skimming Prevention Seminars across the state to educate retailers and local law enforcement about credit and debit card skimming at fuel dispensers.
On February 19, more than 30 attendees, including detectives from local police departments, U.S. Secret Service, convenience store operators and other industry stakeholders, gathered to talk about how each group responds to incidents of skimming, a crime where fraudsters tamper with or break into a dispenser unit and install a device that can capture and steal consumer information from a credit or debit card.
Attendees gained hands-on learnings from Wes Nance, director of service for Petroleum Solutions Inc., who demonstrated to law enforcement how dispenser equipment operates (both legacy and newer units) and areas of vulnerability. The dispenser cabinets on display also helped retailers gain insights on what they can do to better protect their business against skimming.
Nance showed attendees the different types of tools fraudsters use to break into the dispensers, the various types of skimming devices that are being found, which areas inside and outside of the dispensers to look for skimmers, and the many unique ways that criminals attempt to hide skimmer components.
Jesus Azanza, director of marketing and business development at TFFA, noted that this portion of the seminar was particularly eye-opening for attendees: For some, it was the first time they had seen the inside of a dispenser and how sophisticated fraudsters are becoming at carrying out skimming crimes.
During the seminar TFFA President and CEO Paul Hardin also provided information on state legislative proposals to impose stricter criminal penalties for people found to engage in skimming, and to create a statewide fraud unit to track and respond to reported incidents.
“Each seminar is designed to bring together local financial crimes units, convenience retailers and the Secret Service to educate and raise awareness about skimming,” said Azanza.
Additional Skimming Prevention Seminars are taking place in:
- San Antonio, February 26
- Tyler, March 25
- Houston, March 27
- Beaumont, March 28
For more information and to attend, visit www.tffa.com.
NACS Resources on Skimming
With approximately 40 million Americans filling up their vehicle every day, fuel dispensers have become one of many targets for thieves looking to steal credit and debit card information. A recent Convenience Matters podcast discusses how retailers can prevent skimming at the pump. Additional guidance and resources on skimming prevention, including Conexxus-hosted webinars, are available at convenience.org/skimming.