Groundbreaking technology that could help consumers find gas pump credit card skimmers before they fall victim could be on the horizon and technology could be thanks to North Texas ingenuity.
The University of North Texas Cyber Forensics Lab’s work with law enforcement agencies trying to eradicate skimmers may have led to the creation of a detection device.
“We have developed and we have already filed a patent on a skimmer detection wand and we’ve already been testing on it and it’s been working great,” said Dr. Scott Belshaw with the UNT Cyber Forensics Lab.
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Belshaw said the device could save consumers both money and the headache of having their credit card numbers stolen.
“What it does is it detects skimmers inside the gas pump. It looks at multiple different functions - not just the Bluetooth, but it also looks at a lot of other things like the electricity that’s involved that goes through the gas pump as well as goes through the skimmer,” Belshaw said. “We also look at the software that’s in the skimmer and it detects some of the information that’s in that software.”
Belshaw said the devices could be used by consumers, law enforcement agencies and gas station owners.
“You look at a large gas station that has 96 or 97 pumps,” he said. “They can constantly monitor the pumps so that instead of opening them to find when someone put a device in there.”
Belshaw said there is still some work that must be down before it is widely available.
“We’re looking for somebody who is interested in purchasing the idea and purchasing the license to it and they take it and manufacture and make a gazillion dollars,” Belshaw said.
The Cyber Forensics Lab has also started work on technology that could pinpoint skimmer hot spots.
“We started trying even to predict gas stations that are more likely to be hit,” Belshaw said.