Visa Wants to Make it Even Harder for Thieves to Buy Gas with Your Credit Card

A man at a gas station is shown. (AP Photo)
A man at a gas station is shown. (AP Photo)
A man at a gas station is shown. (AP Photo)

 

(The Washington Post) – Gas stations are among the easiest places for crooks to use stolen credit cards. Pumps are usually unattended, so all the thieves have to do is swipe your plastic to fill up their tanks.

Now Visa is rolling out software to detect whether it’s you or someone pretending to be you filling up on fuel. Roughly 25,000 gas stations have already signed on, with Chevron, an early test case, reporting a 23 percent drop in fraud at the pump.

So, how does it work?

The software analyzes 500 pieces of data, including location and past transactions, in less than a second. Based on that data, the software creates a risk score on a scale from zero to 99. The higher the score, the higher the risk that the card in use is stolen. Each gas station gets to set a risk threshold, say 50 on that zero-to-99 scale. If your card generates a risk score that exceeds the threshold, a message will flash at the pump for you to see the attendant inside the station.

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