Convenience stores can take steps to protect themselves from data theft at the pump.
By CSD Staff
Many convenience retailers by now are aware of what card skimming is and the losses it can mean to an operation. As c-stores become more diligent in stopping the illegal practice, thieves of credit card information are becoming more daring in victimizing unsuspecting businesses and their customers.
Attendees of NACS 2016 Oct. 19 got expert tips on how to better protect their fueling operations, during a session called “Defending the Island: How to Protect Your Brand from Being a Victim of Card Skimming.”
Moderator Douglas Spencer, director of products and services at NACS, described how skimming devices—many as small as a palm print—are more readily available than ever before, as reported in card skimming cases across the country.
“We’ve been talking about skimming devices since 2011,” Spencer said. “Skimming is a national problem.”
Also participating on panel, Luke Grant Luke is director of marketing for Gilbarco Veeder-Root. He manages Gilbarco’s dispenser-based payment, media, and merchandising products with a large focus on EMV and payment security. Grant told the audience that while card skimming remains prevalent in the industry, there are low-cost measures retailers can implement to better secure their fueling islands, including:
- Making an internal security policy.
- Watching for high levels of bad card reads or dispenser “offline” messages.
- Being suspicious of vehicles parked at their pumps for extended periods of time.
- Looking for of signs of forced entry at the pump.
- Watching for any abnormalities with the payment terminal.
Tim Weston, technology solutions, Wayne Fueling Systems, said in addition to those steps, other precautions can be taken that can help operators better protect against skimming. Some tips included:
- Implementing video surveillance.
- Changing locks on dispensers.
- Improving lighting on the forecourt because “a well-lit forecourt makes it more difficult for the people doing these crimes,” Weston said.
- Installing secure card readers that eliminate internal skimming through encryption.
- Tracking employee activities.
Spencer advised that if a retailer should find a skimming device, he or she should cooperate with authorities, openly communicate with customers about the situation and implement furtive actions to improve island security.