State lawmakers looking to protect customers at the gas pump

LANSING (WJRT) (10/10/2017) - Since 2015, more than 80 skimmers have been found at gas stations all around the state, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

So when you pay at the pump, there is a chance someone can access your information. State lawmakers say they are trying to change that with a bill that was recently passed in the Senate.

Ahmed Naguib has never found one of those card skimmers on one his gas pumps. He is diligent about making sure his customers' information is kept secure.

"Every sticker is numbered so we keep a log of the numbers and stuff like that, so if anything happens, hopefully, we haven't had any problems, but we keep it monitored every day," Naguib said.

His station has seals on its pumps to let them know it if it's been tampered with, but this bill would require gas station owners to go even further to protect the consumers from skimmers.

"Well, making it more secure is for everybody's benefit. For our benefit and to customers' benefit. If it's going to help everybody, we are with it," said Naguib.

If Senate Bill 415 becomes law, changes to gas dispensers would include:

-- A pressure sensitive security tape that is imprinted with a customized graphic placed over the panel opening to restrict unauthorized openings. It would require a device or system be added to pumps to shut the pump down if the panel is opened.

-- A replacement for the manufacture supplied standard lock.

-- Encrypting customer payment card information in the scanning device.

"How can we be sure that criminals are not getting skimmers inside of the dispensers that we don't know about so that they can steal our credit card information?" said Charlie Burns, president of Oscar Larson Co., which manufactures gas dispensers.

He said the technology to create safer gas pumps is already out there.

"They try to defeat them from entering cabinet in order to do anything, to put any device in, they've made it much more difficult even if you could access the cabinet, you're likely going to damage the equipment, trying to put your skimmer in," said Burns.

The bill was passed by the Senate in June, it's currently in committee in the House.

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