gas pump clear button

    is it necessairy to push the clear button at a gas pump when you are done getting gas?

    0  Views: 651 Answers: 1 Posted: 12 years ago
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    Many people have had a good scare when an email was forwarded to them about a problem concerning the gas pump clear button. The email had a lot of people worried about using credit or debit cards at the pump. As a result, gas stations in some areas noticed an uptick in customers going into the station to pay for their fuel. Despite the initial fear associated with this email, the information in the email was proven to be false.

    What is in the Gas Pump Clear Button Email?

    The email claims that users must press the "Clear" button on credit or debit card transactions. It stated that the next user at the pump could use the credit or debit card of the previous patron if the button wasn't pressed. It cited previous customers and friends as previous victims of these transactions, which usually totaled $50. The claim was that the credit or debit card information was stored in the machine until the next customer used a card. Victims were said not to know about the extra $50 charges until they got a card statement.

    How Did the Gas Pump Clear Button Email Get Started?

    It is widely believed that this email was started as a way for a dishonest gas station employee to cover up fraudulent charges. The employee put a false police officer's name on the email to make it seem more authentic. There is one other theory about where this myth started, but it isn't as widely accepted. This theory is that someone started the email in an attempt to warn friends and family members to press the "Clear" button because of an honest concern. It is believed that this theory was an attempt to warn about "skimmers" that can steal credit card information.

    Where There Any Other Versions?

    There were some versions of this email that claims it was gas station employees who were being scammed out of money. This one claimed that the employees would purchase fuel after a shift. They would later find out that extra charges ranging from $20 to $100 were on their bank statement. In other versions, the person issuing the warning is named Jim or John instead of only being a friend. Only some versions include the warning from the fictitious police officer.

    Is Any of it True?

    Many gas station keypads don't have a "Clear" button, so it is almost impossible to always press that particular button. When you use a credit or debit card at the pump, your information is encrypted. It is then cleared as soon as you put the nozzle back into the holder. Once the nozzle is back in the holder, you would have to reenter your card information if you decided to put more gas into your vehicle. At one point in 2009, a police department did issue a warning similar to this warning, but it admits it was duped into believing the email.

    How Should You Protect Yourself?

    You should always be careful when you use card readers at the pump. Make sure that there isn't anything external on the keypad, which may indicate a skimmer. When you are done pumping your fuel, make sure you put the nozzle fully into the holder, as this is what signals the end of the transaction. Get your receipt if you had one printed. While there is only limited information on the receipt, it is better to be safe now than sorry later.

    It always pays to check out the information in any email you get that contains a warning like this one. Some of these may be true, but this one most certainly isn't true. This one even fooled a police department. It is unlikely that the person behind you at the pump could use your credit card unless the credit card reader has been tampered with at a pump.

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