It seems like I get a call every month from a credit card company informing me that my account has been compromised. I should know the routine by now:
- Receive a text asking that I verify a purchase.
- When I respond no, I did not make the purchase, a second text asks me to call at my earliest convenience.
- The call again inquires about a suspicious purchase.
- Result: card cancelled and a new card issued to be received in about ten days.
- Finally, changes to any automatic payments made on the card.
The credit card company never reveals where the card was compromised, but in most cases the most recent legitimate purchase was made at a gas pump; and it seems every week or so another story about a skimming device being found at a gas station is reported.
Of course the easiest way to avoid this problem is to pay cash, but this is such a pain. Go inside. Wait in line. And make one of two less than desirable choices: either pay more than the gas will cost and then return to wait in another line to get change or pay less than you know you’ll need and leave without a full tank. Neither good choices.
Another solution to this problem: purchase gas prepaid cards when you buy your groceries and then use these cards when you fill your tank. I started doing this when Publix offers $50 gas cards for only $40 with a purchase of $50 of groceries – a great deal, as well as a way to avoid credit card fraud.
I admit I haven’t made a complete switch to paying using this method, but I know it’s a smart move. Let’s start using prepaid gas cards.
Even if you decide not to use the prepaid gas card option, remember your debit card does not offer protection from fraud like your credit card.