Protect Yourself from Pump Switching Scams

( – A new financial scam is becoming commonplace in major cities like Philadelphia, prompting the Philadelphia authorities to issue an alert to the city’s residents. The scam is known as pump switching and occurs at gas stations, with scammers targeting customers buying gas with a credit card.

The Philadelphia Police Department issued an alert about pump switching, warning Philadelphia citizens to avoid interacting with potential scammers while buying gas. According to the alert, pump-switching scammers approach customers buying gas and offer to pump their gas for them or put the gas nozzle back on the pump. Once the customer leaves the gas station, the scammers use the nozzle to get free gas for their car. While scammers often use the gas nozzle for themselves, others use the customer’s credit card for financial gain.

Some scammers wait for the customer to leave the gas station before offering the pump to another customer attempting to buy gas. After pumping the gas for the new customer, pump-switch scammers ask for cash in return for the free gas. The scammers use someone’s credit card information, which remains active in a gas pump until a customer returns the gas nozzle, allowing the scam to unfold. One pump-switching scam victim discussed the scam and how it affected them financially.

According to the scam victim, they allowed a stranger to hang the gas nozzle for them after buying gas with a credit card. The victim claims they didn’t consider the interaction until they checked their credit card transactions and noticed a $165 purchase, much higher than the price of gas they bought for their car. Despite the scam’s prevalence in Philadelphia, online sources are issuing warnings to potential victims and offering methods of avoiding the scam.

According to a report from Yahoo, the scam occurs when people zone out while pumping gas. The article claims that buying gas is mundane and enables scammers to catch someone off guard. Another piece of advice is for customers to always request a receipt while purchasing gas, which would prevent any transactions they aren’t entirely aware of. Additionally, police recommend that potential victims report suspicious behavior or pump-switching scammers to authorities following any potential encounter with them.

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