Sen. Schmidt introduces bill to combat credit card fraud

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — Michiganders could shop more securely at gas stations throughout the state if legislation introduced Thursday by state Sen. Wayne Schmidt becomes law.

Senate Bill 228 seeks to combat the increasing threat of credit card skimming devices by requiring all gas stations in Michigan to improve security measures at the pump.

Under the bill, filling stations would have 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; or any other security measure approved by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

“Identity theft is on the rise, and credit card skimming devices are a primary way criminals obtain individuals’ information,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. Approximately 70 credit card skimmers were found and removed from gas pumps in Michigan in just the last year, according to MDARD. “Many gas stations throughout the state have been proactive in taking steps to improve security at their pumps, which has helped protect customers. With my bill, we are officially putting these criminals on notice that, for them, Michigan is not open for business.”

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.

The legislation was introduced during Consumer Protection Week, a time to highlight consumer rights and help consumers learn more about making informed buying decisions, including how to recognize, guard against, and report scams and fraud.

SB 228 was referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee for consideration.