TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Arizona has been a real hot spot for credit card skimmers----devices that steal your credit card info.
Many stores already use more secure chip-card readers but gas pumps may not get the more secure method for another three years.
You can slide right into trouble when you use your credit card at the pump.
Thieves can plant electronic spies called skimmers that will transmit your card data to them. They can clone your card and start spending.
Arizona Weights and Measures found 50 skimmers in the state this year. They found and removed two skimmers in the Tucson area. The most recent was eight months ago.
To strengthen security, gas pumps were supposed to start reading chip cards by this month. Data from them is much harder to abuse.
But worries about conversion costs led Visa and Mastercard to push back that deadline three years.
Visa said, "...in some cases, older pumps may need to be replaced before adding chip readers, requiring specialized vendors and breaking into concrete."
That leaves drivers to look for signs of tampering, and watch credit statements for bogus charges.
There are ways you can fight bad guy technology with good guy technology. There's actually a phone app, android only so far, called Skimmer Scanner. It will hunt down any bluetooth around you and look for the most commonly used bluetooth credit card skimmers.
At A & M Shell on Speedway, they're always on guard against skimmers and a lot of customers like Jim Weston feel more secure paying inside.
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked him: "When they eventually get around to putting these chips in would that make you feel any more secure?”
Weston: “I don't think so because I would think whenever they come up with something new, thieves find a way to figure it out."
Don Douglass uses the ultimate defense against skimmers.
“I just pay cash up front. It may not fill the tank but it'll get me across town."