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Beware of Gas Pumps
Old 11-18-2015, 12:44 PM   #1
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Beware of Gas Pumps

A credit card company and a gas station charged us for gas we did not pump. Three months ago DH attempted to pump gas using our credit card. The pump would not pump gas, so DH went to another station. The next day I saw online that we were charged approximately $60 for gas at that station. Apparently the pump did not cancel our card and the next person pumped gas on our card. DH called the credit card company, canceled our card, and disputed the charge. The person he talked to stated that it is very common at pumps, that she spends all day every day dealing with malfunctioning gas pumps. DH also disputed the charge in writing.
Today we were told that we will have to pay the $60.00 because the merchant said that the gas was pumped.
Duh.
We didn't dispute that it was pumped. It just wasn't pumped by us.
We've used that credit card for over 15 years, charged a lot, always paid off the balance well before the due date.
Be careful of credit cards at gas pumps.
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SkisALot View Post
A credit card company and a gas station charged us for gas we did not pump. Three months ago DH attempted to pump gas using our credit card. The pump would not pump gas, so DH went to another station. The next day I saw online that we were charged approximately $60 for gas at that station. Apparently the pump did not cancel our card and the next person pumped gas on our card. DH called the credit card company, canceled our card, and disputed the charge. The person he talked to stated that it is very common at pumps, that she spends all day every day dealing with malfunctioning gas pumps. DH also disputed the charge in writing.
Today we were told that we will have to pay the $60.00 because the merchant said that the gas was pumped.
Duh.
We didn't dispute that it was pumped. It just wasn't pumped by us.
We've used that credit card for over 15 years, charged a lot, always paid off the balance well before the due date.
Be careful of credit cards at gas pumps.
I would definitely hit cancel on the pump and wait for it to show the welcome message again for a new transaction. Even when it pumps, I always make sure that comes up just to make sure it recognized the pump had been put back and I am done.
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:04 PM   #3
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I would definitely hit cancel on the pump and wait for it to show the welcome message again for a new transaction. Even when it pumps, I always make sure that comes up just to make sure it recognized the pump had been put back and I am done.
+1
I've always been careful about this. Many don't think to use the Cancel button, but it comes in very handy at times like these.

Another thing to beware of is the pump on the end that is out of direct sight of the cashier in the building. Those pumps are the most likely to have a skimmer installed on the credit card reader.
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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I would definitely hit cancel on the pump and wait for it to show the welcome message again for a new transaction. Even when it pumps, I always make sure that comes up just to make sure it recognized the pump had been put back and I am done.
+1 on that.

I've never had anything happen but I'm always nervous and do the same. Same way with ATMs I always wait for the welcome screen.
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:11 PM   #5
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Go back to the station and see if they have a video of this incident on the chance you can ID the person who pumped that gas. You may need to take them to small claims court.

I am SOO happy that we don't pump our own gas in Oregon.
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:16 PM   #6
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Thank you for the warning! We will certainly be hitting Cancel if a pump doesn't work after it reads our card. Feel free to share the gas station's name with us.

It sounds like a lot of trouble to get out of treating the next customer to a tank of gas. Perhaps you could appeal with the credit card company that the gas station's malfunctioning pump caused the problem.
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:20 PM   #7
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Today we were told that we will have to pay the $60.00 because the merchant said that the gas was pumped.
Duh.
We didn't dispute that it was pumped. It just wasn't pumped by us.
We've used that credit card for over 15 years, charged a lot, always paid off the balance well before the due date.
Be careful of credit cards at gas pumps.
Yes, there are lots of fraudulent transactions at gas pumps, CC skimmers are often found there.

This is an unauthorized charge. According to the law you are liable for $50, but usually CC companies waive that if you reported it in a timely manner. I would push back on the CC company and file a complaint with the FTC Disputing Credit Card Charges | Consumer Information
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:39 PM   #8
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Yes, there are lots of fraudulent transactions at gas pumps, CC skimmers are often found there.

This is an unauthorized charge. According to the law you are liable for $50, but usually CC companies waive that if you reported it in a timely manner. I would push back on the CC company and file a complaint with the FTC Disputing Credit Card Charges | Consumer Information
Thanks. We reported the charge the next day, but apparently this CC company doesn't care about the law. The FTC is a good idea.
I'm reluctant to name the gas station. We won't be going there again nor will we be using the CC card or the bank it's associated with. And yes, we are very careful with pumps and with anything electronic. Always have been.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:29 PM   #9
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I buy $25 Shell gift cards at Winn-Dixie and use them at the gas pump to minimize my risk to skimmers. I get 5% cash back at grocery stores and gas stations, so that's a push. However, the Winn-Dixie loyalty card gives you $.05 off a gallon of gas for 20 gallons for each $50 you spend at Winn-Dixie, so that's a nice bonus.

In fact, the Mississippi Winn-Dixie's are currently running a 3x promo to give $.15 off a gallon for each $50 spent. I bought $600 of fuel gift cards and basically got 20 gallons for free.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:48 PM   #10
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Thanks for bringing this up. I remember to be careful for a few weeks, then seem to forget about the potential problem till somebody mentions it. Gas pumps and restaurants are a couple of common places for fraud.
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Old 11-18-2015, 03:14 PM   #11
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Gas pumps and restaurants are a couple of common places for fraud.
Actually, any time you let the card out of your sight you're subject to victimization. I have been diligent about that for years, and haven't had any incidents since I began the practice.. The only drawback is that I have to remember to carry enough cash to cover a restaurant meal, but I generally do that anyway.
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:20 PM   #12
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In fact, the Mississippi Winn-Dixie's are currently running a 3x promo to give $.15 off a gallon for each $50 spent. I bought $600 of fuel gift cards and basically got 20 gallons for free.
I might have to think about moving to Mississippi! (But the gift cards are a good idea.)
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:57 PM   #13
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Recently we stopped at a Mexican restaurant in a town 50 miles from home. The total bill for lunch including tip was about $25. I always keep every credit card receipt until I reconcile the charge card account each month. I usually check the credit card balance on-line about once a week just to make sure there are no questionable charges. I was very surprised when the restaurant charge was posted at $60 for my $25 lunch.
In the past, any time there was a dispute on the charge card a simple phone call to them and they took care of it, nothing required from my end. This time I was different. When I contacted my credit card company to dispute the charge they said no problem but that I was required to provide proof to them (receipt) that I only charged $25, they would then review my dispute and advise their conclusions.
I was so glad I kept a copy of the charge or I suspect they would have expected me to pay the difference. I would have thought that the restaurant would have been the one to document the disputed charge.
So, why not totally related to the OPs situation I would advise that you always get a receipt for you card charges and keep them at least until you have reconciled the charge on the monthly statement.
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Old 11-19-2015, 03:40 PM   #14
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I would call your police department. They may tell you to call the city/county where the crime occurred. Yes, it is a crime to use someones credit card without their permission.

They will help track down video of the person and car that pumped the gas, or they can be prosecuted. Just because the pump was authorized with your card, does not let them off the hook. The gas station may not give you the video directly.

Continue to attempt to get the charge reversed, but the cops will make the most headway.
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Old 11-19-2015, 04:36 PM   #15
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Something seems odd about the described situation, and has me wondering about the "next person" theory. Let's say you or I pull up to the pump. In the first scenario, we attempt swiping the CC, because that is what we would normally do, right? Having recently done a couple of extended trips, where I used a dozen different pumps the lack of standardization on prompts, speed of response, etc. is quite apparent. In such a case, I could imagine attempting to swipe my card, perhaps a bit road-weary and not realizing it wasn't registering going ahead and pumping the gas, pocketing the receipt and moving on. For those of us that save the receipts (probably a minority) and true them up with the CC, we would eventually realize what had happened. The financial acumen-impaired group, probably not. I'm not sure about it sitting in front of my computer, but I don't know as the pump would register the secondary card swiped or remain registered on the first CC. Not sure that in the case of a card being swiped but no gas pumped if the prompts would indicate to the "next person" that they just hit a jackpot either. I would also suspect it would time out after a period of inactivity, but that's a guess, and I'm sure variations in programming are all over the map.

Or in the second scenario, the "next person" pulls up intending to pay cash, pumps the gas, and when trying to pay, they are told "But you already paid for it" and has the devious presence of mind to act all apologetic for being so forgetful and walks off knowing full well they just scammed someone.

Now for a third scenario. Makes me wonder if perhaps a somewhat alert, and nefarious gas station employee, or not so innocent bystander might have seen what happened and help themselves to a tank of gas. Not implying, just speculating - you know, covering the bases.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:16 PM   #16
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Actually, any time you let the card out of your sight you're subject to victimization. I have been diligent about that for years, and haven't had any incidents since I began the practice.. The only drawback is that I have to remember to carry enough cash to cover a restaurant meal, but I generally do that anyway.
Don't recall ever being victimized. I use CCs at restaurants all the time. I have a receipt. If there was a problem, I would contact the restaurant. If I ever started getting fraudulent charges, that would be reported to the credit card company or more likely, they would report it to me. Besides, I get enough in cash back to pay for quite a few meals.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:27 PM   #17
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Gas pumps are supposed to reset after a few seconds if there is no activity after a card is swiped. Definitely sooner than the time needed for the cardowner to get back in the car, move, and let someone else in to use the pump. For this to be accidental the pump or card reader needs to have suffered a major failure and the next car filled without making any effort to pay first. Unusual, to say the least.

CC skimmers are devices placed over CC readers, that capture all the information from the card and the carddholder. That's one possibility. Another is the station attendant is enabling the fraud.

Federal regulations are clear wrt CC fraud. If the cardholder reports the fraud in a timely manner the liability is $50, period. That doesn't mean the issuing bank or CC processor won't push back; that often happens just to discourage claims. Filing a police report, as suggested by Senator, is a good idea, as it lends credence to the view that it is indeed a fraud and the CC is likely to take the claim more seriously.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:50 PM   #18
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always paid off the balance well before the due date.
That's why they are not too concerned about losing your business. They make minimal money on folks like us who never pay interest on outstanding balances.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:57 PM   #19
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Actually, any time you let the card out of your sight you're subject to victimization. I have been diligent about that for years, and haven't had any incidents since I began the practice.. The only drawback is that I have to remember to carry enough cash to cover a restaurant meal, but I generally do that anyway.
+1

I have joined the camp of CC users who seldom allow a stranger to walk away, out of sight, with my CC. I get to swipe or I pay cash.

It was hard to get DW to go along with this as she liked to use the CC in small boutique shops and other places where the friendly, professional clerk would take the card and walk away to do the charge. I don't think so.........
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Old 11-19-2015, 06:33 PM   #20
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We are going to file a police report. Thank you all for that suggestion. I hope at some point that I can be of help to someone here.
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