⛽ Police warn of new scam happening at gas pumps

⛽ NJ drivers could be particularly vulnerable

⛽ Here's how to protect yourself

In New Jersey, we don't pump our own gas.

We are, in fact, the only state in the nation that makes doing so a crime. If you do it, it could cost you a fine as much as $500.

If you gas up in any other state, it would only be natural to be a little unsure of what to do.

Unhappy at the gas pump

However, when you fill up in Pennsylvania, don't let anyone else grab the nozzle at the gas pump.

The Lower Merion Police Department is warning of a new scam that could cost you big bucks.

Several reports have been made of someone approaching a motorist at the gas pump and offering to help them, often grabbing the pump nozzle out of their hand.

Sam Doyle photo.
Sam Doyle photo.

In a Facebook post, police say, "The suspects are often very aggressive and outright refuse the victim's attempts to deny assistance."

New Jersey 101.5's Dennis Malloy pumps his own gas.
New Jersey 101.5's Dennis Malloy pumps his own gas.

Pump Switching Scam

After filling up your tank, the con artist will not hang up the nozzle. After you leave, the pump is still active and linked to your credit card.

It is called 'pump switching."

They will then use the nozzle to fill up other cars, requesting the motorists pay in cash. They will then pocket as much cash as they can, and leave.

Whatever fuel was pumped, gets charged to your credit card.

Police say many victims don't even notice they have been scammed until weeks or months later when they look at their credit card statements.

How to protect yourself

Police suggest never letting someone you don't know pump gas into your car.

In addition:

Always hang up your own gas nozzle

⛽ Make sure you hit "end transaction" on the pump's keypad

⛽ Print a receipt at the pump or obtain one from the office to as proof of purchase

Always remember to hang up the pump nozzle, hit end transaction and print a receipt.
Always remember to hang up the pump nozzle, hit end transaction and print a receipt.

If you believe you have been a victim or encounter this activity at any gas pump, police say you should "remain on location in a safe area and call 911 so officers can respond immediately and assess if a crime has occurred."

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