New stickers at the gas pump aim to cut down on skimmers

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Following the Texas Legislature’s passing of a new law that changes which agency oversees gas pumps, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation debuted new gas pump stickers Tuesday.

Formerly, the Texas Department of Agriculture regulated gas pumps and monitored them for skimmers. However, in September, that responsibility was switched to the TDLR.

The TDLR’s new Texas-shaped stickers will begin showing up on gas pumps over the next several months. By September, all gas stations in the state will be required to have them on every pump.

TDLR Deputy Executive Director Brian Francis says his agency hopes the stickers will be more user-friendly when it comes to filing a complaint, after a consumer suspects his or her card may have been skimmed. 

“It walks them through how to file a complaint. What pump were you on? What day did you go there? What station were you at?” Francis said.

Francis says the agency will get one of its inspectors or investigators out within hours to find the potential skimmer.

“The faster you can respond to a complaint, the faster you can resolve it,” he said.

Francis says all of TDLR’s investigators and inspectors have been trained to find skimmers, even if  they’re just doing routine maintenance on pumps. The agency’s also working with gas stations and police departments in cities like Houston and Tyler that have skimmer detection units to identify ways to stop the technology criminals are using to skim cards.

The Texas Department of Agriculture says even though it’s not the official channel for skimmer complaints anymore, it will continue to investigate them. Because TDA is a consumer protection agency, a spokesman says it still has authority to take complaints and send out investigators.

Last legislative session, lawmakers passed a second piece of legislation that also aims to stop card skimmers. It gives the state more authority to go after people who place skimmers in pumps and strengthen their penalties.

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