NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is alerting consumers to an increase in fraudulent credit card devices found at gas pumps across the state.

“Inspectors with our Weights and Measures Section are discovering credit card skimmers during routine gas pump inspections,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Thanks to the watchful eyes and thoroughness of our inspectors, consumers are protected at the pump.”

Five fraudulent devices have been detected in user interface compartments on fuel pumps in the past six weeks in various locations statewide.

Consumers are urged to take note of the credit card reader they are using. If it appears to be different from other readers at the gas pumps or if it is not securely affixed to the display panel, report it to the gas station manager or TDA and move to another pump. If a card skimming device is detected at the pump, TDA inspectors immediately remove the pump from service and contact local law enforcement.

“Routine inspections are one way that we safeguard both the consumer and the business,” Weights and MeasuresAdministrator Ed Coleman said. “Most of the time, it’s impossible for either to know a credit card skimmer has been placed inside the compartment. One way for consumers to avoid contact with a skimming device is to pay for their gasoline purchase inside.”

A skimming device reads and stores data from the magnetic stripe on a credit or debit card when the card is used at a point of sale. Even at locations where chip readers are in use, stolen data from the strip can be used for fraudulent transactions. Consumers should always track purchases and be aware of balances on their bank accounts.

To report a suspected issue at a gas pump, call TDA at 1-800-OCTANE1 (1-800-628-2631) or 615-837-5109. The business name and full address with a description of the issue should be reported along with the pump number.

One of the main functions of the Weights and Measures Section is to ensure consumer confidence in the marketplace by testing devices such as fuel pumps. Their work promotes uniformity in federal regulations and standards to achieve equity between buyers and sellers for items sold by weight, volume, or quantity.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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