Facing skimmers on the pumps, I’ve started using Google Pay
I’ve lost track of how many people have reported skimmers at gas station pumps in our neighborhood groups. They’ve gotten a little more sophisticated these days and have started doing things like causing chips in cards to fail / necessitating a swipe / subsequent skim. Basically if you can’t tap to pay you have to swipe, and they got ya.
Cloned mag strips transmit off, someone copies your card, you find you’ve ordered $6,000 of books and get a notification that your card is locked. Fun times.
For that reason, I’ve been pretty hesitant to get gas in my neighborhood. I’ve personally been skimmed at a Mapco, Sonic, and I believe my wife was at an Exxon but we’re not entirely sure on that. For years I generally just would run on fumes until I got to Costco as they seemed to have someone on deck at all times.
I recently started using Google Pay when I’m at one of the stations near here. It’s a QR code, which I generally would not advise scanning (don’t scan QR codes in the wild,) but it does something a bit different that it would be a bit difficult to fake. When you scan it you’re taken to a page that asks what pump you’re on. You select the pump, it turns said pump on, and when you’re done it charges you.
Bit difficult to fake QR bomb you as they’d have to figure out some way to activate a pump unless you’re going to be fooled with a pay-first scam. I mean, you could be, but if you’ve used Google Pay once at a pump you’ll be able to spot a fake process tree a mile away.
So yeah, if you haven’t tried it, it’s a really pretty useful way to add a layer of abstraction between your card and any potential thieves. I’ll keep my card with me though as I still have not had a perfect tap to pay and scan to pay experience, and how Google Pay works at the pumps if the net is screwed up you’re not using it.
You can get Google Pay on Google Play this Google Day.