Banks are losing the battle against credit card thieves, and no place do the thieves strike more than at the gas station. The Washington Post reports credit card fraud is 4 times greater at gas stations than any other form of retailer!
At the moment, if you use a credit card to do pay at the pump, all you have to do is put in your zip code. Your card and the zip code are checked against an online database, with the idea being the thieves won’t have your zip code. Wrong! They very well may, and apparently that form of anti-theft tech is not effective anymore.
Gas stations adopt new software to halt credit card crooks
So now there’s new software called Visa Transaction Advisor that uses artificial intelligence to figure out if you really are who you say you are. Gas station owners set what the parameters for pay at the pump are as far as what fraud index score they want to use to vet you.
Some 25,000 gas stations have signed on for Visa Transaction Advisor. The software does all this datamining on the card user, tapping databases instantly, to check the profile on you and your card to make a determination about whether or not they really believe it’s you at that gas pump.
The end result is *not* that you won’t be able to pump gas. If you are flagged as a risky transaction, you’ll just simply have to go inside the gas station to present your card in person.
Visa believes a crook who is denied at the pump, even with the right zip code, won’t want to go into the gas station. They won’t want to be on the security camera and will likely abandon the purchase at the pump and leave the station. But a legit user, even though they’ll be inconvenienced by going inside, will still do it.
So Visa hopes to eliminate the fraudster and inconvenience the legit buyer with a legit card. Annoying, I know, but it is necessary until the new chip and PIN cards are fully adopted.
Meanwhile, if you pay with debit during pay at the pump, heed this special warning.