Monday, May 02, 2005

Gas stations asking for your Zip Code - Southpinellas

According to David Robertson, publisher of the Nilson Report, a consumer payment trend publication, more than 50 percent of gas customers pay with plastic.

Robertson said credit card thieves for years have used unattended gas pumps to check whether stolen credit cards were still active, before taking them to a store and purchasing goods pawnable for cash. "One of the first things a thief will do is go to an unattended gas pump and put the card in to see if it's still alive," he said. "Now, with gas prices so high, there's not only the opportunity to check if it's a live card, but stolen cards are being used for stolen gas."

Gas stations are the only businesses to ask for ZIP code verification, he said. But the technology is similar to other verification systems used by online companies like, which require credit card customers to verify their address.

"It's absolutely essential in this day and age," Robertson said. "This just lets us know the value of gas in our society right now."
It seems that at current gas prices it has become profitable to pawn stolen gasoline.


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