Skimming technology is advancing at an alarming rate. Retailers and manufacturers have had to adapt their operations and technology to prevent thieves from compromising fuel dispensers.

Here are some ways retailers can protect consumers and their business from skimming:

  • Separate compartment for receipt rollers
  • Consider using serialized security tape over all access doors you wish to protect.
  • Consider re-keying the locks on dispenser doors that have access to electronic payment data. Customizing locks are good start to preventing thieves from opening doors on fuel dispensers; however, locks have their pitfalls.  In many cases, thieves will pry open doors using specialized tools.  Perhaps more alarming is that the same locks purchased by store owners are available for purchase online for just a few dollars.
  • Consider investing in anti-breach kits for dispensers offered by manufactures, which generally notify and shut down dispensers that are accessed without proper security code entry. This can be costly, but it is the ultimate line of defense.
  • Site personnel should inspect the fuel island daily for any signs of tampering, including matching security tape serial numbers.
  • Enhanced and strategically placed lighting can help deter criminals and make it easier for store personnel to monitor fuel islands
  • HB 2174: In 2015, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) implemented a rule to increase the number and frequency of fuel dispenser inspections and fuel quality testing.  During the 85th Texas Legislative session, the Texas Food & Fuel Association (TFFA), a not-for-profit trade association comprised of thousands of convenience retailers, worked with members of the legislature to pass House Bill 2174 (HB 2174).  HB 2174 received bipartisan approval and passed with a vote of 134-11 and was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on June 15, 2017.  In a nutshell, HB 2174 privatizes the meter calibration and fuel quality testing program previously controlled by TDA and ultimately paid for by Texas taxpayers.

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