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The Pinnacle Blog

Industry Insecurity: Proactive Protection

Posted by Pinnacle Corporation on Sep 29, 2017 9:05:00 AM

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Card skimming is still a major problem, especially in the convenience store industry. Forecourt POS systems are ripe for tampering and with the delay in EMV implementation granted, late-adoption retailers are an even greater target. With other areas of non-EMV-compliance drying up (department stores, supermarkets), thieves look for the 'weakest link' in the security chain- convenience stores. 


The research found that the specific fraud risks faced by small organizations typically differ from those faced by larger organizations. For example, skimming schemes were noted almost twice as often in smaller organizations than in their larger counterparts. Typically, small organizations lack anti-fraud controls compared to their larger counterparts, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fraud, the study found. Because they have fewer resources, the losses they experience have a greater impact than they would in larger organizations.

 Thankfully, there are ways that retailers can fight fraud and prepare for payment and data security risks. Simple steps such as installing address verification on POS systems and payment terminals, training employees on phishing scams and how to spot problems before they arise, using tamper evident decals and tracking apps, and continuing to implement EMV can all reduce your risk as a retailer and protect your customers and your reputation.  

Management training on skimming fraud is essential in slowing this crime trend. Owners must be aware of the crime, put the mechanisms in place to properly screen employees, recognize the "red flags" of potential credit card skimming and other warning signs of fraud, and take the appropriate actions. It's a crime of opportunity that can be prevented through education, training and proper supervision.

“Training store personnel to be on the lookout for signs that skimming devices are being installed or have been installed is the simplest way to combat skimmers,” says Luke Grant, director of payment and marketing applications for Gilbarco Veeder-Root North America. Signs of tampering include indications of forced entry inside the dispenser, abnormal-looking components on the dispenser’s exterior, and suspicious vehicles parked at the pump for extended periods of time.

One of the simplest ways to prevent fraudulent tampering at the pump is by placing a NACS WeCare decal across the span between the terminal body and the access doors. The stickers show a VOID message if someone tampers with the placement. For the decals to work most effectively, employees need to check on them regularly and keep detailed records of each visual inspection. The  Multi-Site SkimDefend app enhances the WeCare process by making it easier and more streamlined.

With proactive steps by management and a trained staff on the look out for skimming, plus scheduled and reported monitoring, retailers can protect the security of customer card data and their own reputation.

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Topics: Data Security, skimming, fraud, payments