With the EMV implementation now a distant memory, the exemption (and extension) on automated fuel dispensers is starting to come into question. Reported cases in the state of Florida alone more than tripled, surging from 169 in 2015 to 655 in 2017 according to this report. This year, numbers are off the charts.
Inspectors have recovered 539 skimmers in just the first six months of 2018, putting Florida on track for over 1,000 skimmers this year alone.
It is not just sunny Florida. Google searching identifies dozens of incidents, from gas stations in California, Michigan, New York, and Texas.
Fraud migrates to the weakest channel, which is one of the reasons that card, not present fraud is growing. Gasoline is unique because of the aged equipment. The fuel sector received a two-year extension because of the large volume of dated pumps. In retrospect, the decision was probably incorrect.
In the US, the average spend on gas is $2,000 per year per adult; as you probably observed recently, that number is on the rise.
The card industry pays intense focus on the card not present fraud, but it might just be time to consider a more aggressive policy for fraud mitigation at the pump.
Or, perhaps start investing in a Tesla.
Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group