Tap to pay has become the ultimate convenience, whether it's a restaurant or a gas station or other retail establishment.

You know the drill: Time to pay, you whip out that Visa Card and tap it up against a card reader. You hear the little beep and then -- BAM! -- transaction complete.

That's how it usually works, anyway.

But scammers, or rather skimmers, have found a flaw in the plan. The same folks who are installing card skimmers to steal your information at the gas pump are now drilling holes in the card readers so that you have to swipe your card in their skimmers.

From the St. George Police Department:

Suspects drill the RFID reader on a gas pump which disables it. They will install a skimmer on the traditional card swipe reader. Since the RFID is disabled, customers are driven to use the swipe reader which skims their card number for later fraud.

And while they have yet to find these problems in St. George-area gas stations, with the scam hitting Nevada and other neighboring states, it's only a matter of time.

SGPD offers these general tips to help avoid getting swindled:

  • Avoid using pumps where the RFID reader, or other payment devices appear to be damaged
  • Let business owners know if there appears to be damage to a gas pump payment device.
  • Inspect all devices before use.
  • Look for anything loose, crooked, damaged, or scratched.
  • Choose a fuel pump that is closer to the store and in direct view of the attendant. These pumps are less likely to be targets for skimmers.
  • Run your debit card as a credit card. If that’s not an option, cover the keypad when you enter your PIN.
  • Consider paying inside with the attendant, not outside at the pump.
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli

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