Putnam Finds Gas-Station ‘Skimmer’

A near-relic as companies switch to chip cards

A routine inspection by Putnam County’s Office of Consumer Affairs uncovered a “skimming” device installed by thieves inside a pump at a Brewster gas station to steal credit card numbers. 

It had collected 86 numbers, Michael Budzinski, the director of the agency, told Putnam County legislators on Sept. 10 during a meeting of its Rules Committee.

Robert Firriolo, the legislative counsel, observed that most establishments have already been compelled by credit-card companies to switch to readers for credit cards with electronic chips that prevent skimming, but that the companies extended their deadline to April 2021 for gas stations and automatic teller machines (ATMs). 

“That’s kind of the last bastion of the hackers,” he said. “It probably is not a problem outside those two areas.”

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