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KDA inspectors step up the search for fuel pump skimmers as Kentuckians hit the road

As Kentuckians hit the roads for vacations, long weekends, and day trips, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) inspectors are on the lookout for credit card skimmers.

“Credit card ‘skimming’ at fuel pumps is used to steal personal data, which crooks can use to make fraudulent charges,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Our inspectors examine fuel pumps for signs of tampering during the course of a routine pump inspection. This is an added service the KDA provides at no additional cost to taxpayers.”

(Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)

Kentucky Department of Agriculture inspectors found this skimmer inside a fuel pump in a Richmond retail establishment. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)

Under state law, motor fuel pumps must be inspected by KDA personnel once a year. Inspectors test pumps to ensure that the amount of fuel dispensed matches the amount shown on the pump, and check to make sure each pump is in proper working order.

Already in 2018, KDA inspectors have located one credit card skimmer and turned it over to law enforcement. Quarles advised motorists to be on the lookout for evidence that a motor fuel pump has been compromised. Signs of tampering include scratches or other damage around locks or doors, components that look different from the rest of the device or from other pumps (such as a skimmer placed over a card reader), a loose card reader, and security tape that is broken or does not adhere to the pump.

Consumers who find evidence that a pump has been tampered with are advised to bring it to the attention to the retailer and local law enforcement. To report possible tampering to the KDA, call 502-573-0282 or email ag.web@ky.gov. Please include the retailer’s name and location, the pump number, and the fuel grade.

The National Association for Convenience Stores says a single compromised pump can capture data from 30 to 100 cards per day.

From Kentucky Department of Agriculture

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