LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate recently approved a measure that would decrease the threat posed by credit card skimming devices by requiring all filling stations in Michigan to improve security measures at the pump.
“Skimming devices are becoming more and more prevalent and are imposing a huge financial risk every time someone needs to stop for gas,” said Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “Technology is growing exponentially more powerful as time goes by. This bill encourages innovative steps needed to keep up with these advances and help prevent people’s private financial information from being stolen.”
Electronic skimming devices are typically installed in seconds, hidden inside of gas pumps, and are used to copy the credit and debit information of customers for criminal use. Most pumps have a universal master key that criminals can easily obtain to gain entry, install the device, and then return later to retrieve the stolen information.
Senate Bill 415 would allow filling stations the option of installing any of the following on individual pumps: tamper proof security tape with logo; a device to render the pump or scanning device inoperable with unauthorized access; encryption of credit card information; a new lock to replace the manufacturer’s lock; or any other security measure approved by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).
According to MDARD, approximately 70 credit card skimmers have been found and removed from gas pumps in Michigan since 2015.
“We are thankful that customer protection has increased and many gas stations have taken the initiative to secure their pumps, but this bill would ensure all stations provide some sort of protection against these devices.”
SB 415 now heads to the Michigan House for further consideration.