Gas Industry Scams
This page is a compilation of scam notices that we have received over the years. Please be diligent in knowing the latest ways criminals commit fraud and try to take advantage of you and your hard earned money.
Table of Contents
- Google Listings Scam
- Gift Card Scam
- Verifone Scam Alert
- Verifone Email Scam
- EMV Equipment Scam
- Master Card, Visa and Pre-Paid Gift/Debit Card Fraud
Google Listings Scam
We want to bring to your attention there is a scam that is making the rounds, involving a company called Point Break Media. The purpose of the scam is to get business owners to pay a fee to “regain” or “verify” their Google My Business listing, often via phone messages. Please be aware that if you are a branded station, your listing is verified under a corporate account with the oil companies, and you do not need to take any action regarding your listing.
Unsolicited phone calls from companies claiming to work “with Google” or “for Google” are often an attempt to take advantage of unsuspecting business owners and sell you unnecessary marketing services. Google will never call you and demand money or action to keep your listing on Google Maps. If you receive a call like this, it’s best to hang up immediately.
Gift Card Scam
We have been informed by more than one location that there are scammers coming into stores to buy cigarettes with gift cards. The transactions initially go through, but then later come back as fraudulent and are charged back to the location.
We highly recommend making it your store policy to not accept payment for cigarettes with gift cards, and even further than that, only selling a maximum of 2 cartons per customer as this reduces your liability for transactions that are fraudulent.
Verifone Scam Alert
Scammers are calling Verifone merchant clients and posing as Verifone Helpdesk agents. These scammers are requesting sensitive credit processing information that could be used to perpetrate fraud. Read more about how this scam works and what actual Verifone representatives will and will not do when calling your store legitimately.
Verifone Email Scam
Email Scam sent from “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Verifone has recently been advised of a fraudulent email that appears to be sent from email@example.com and contains “VeriFone Services UK and Ireland Ltd” in the subject line.
If you receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT. Immediately contact your IT Security Department and follow your organization’s process and policy for dealing with malicious communications.
The email is NOT from Verifone, and the downloadable file it contains as an attachment can be a virus, malware or ransomware. An example of this email can be found here. Currently, the email mainly seems to be targeting small and medium size businesses.
- If you open an email from email@example.com – or any suspicious email for that matter – immediately unplug your network cable or shut down your computer, and contact your IT Help Desk.
- If you are suspicious of any email, contact the sender to verify its legitimacy before you open the attachment.
- Additional best practices regarding suspicious emails can be found here.
Verifone has not been hacked, and its email and other servers are not compromised. Security is our #1 priority, and we are committed to ensuring the protection of our clients’ and partners’ payment data.
EMV Equipment Scam
We have been notified of calls being made to gas statio
ns allegedly from credit card companies that claim that they have to put machines in the stores that are EMV ready. They are telling the person that picks up the phone that it is the law and that the inside must be using a chip.
We are addressing EMV already and you should not sign ANYTHING with this company.
For Southeast Petro Company Operated Stores (Sunshine Express) – it is against policy to sign any contract for the company.
Master Card, Visa and Pre-Paid Gift/Debit Card Fraud
The Shell Fraud Prevention Team has recently identified two examples of probable credit card fraud in your area. Below is the description of the fraud and the recommended fraud solutions.
- MasterCard Pre-Paid Gift/Debit Card
The activity involves the use of MasterCard branded anonymous (NO Cardholder Name on the Front of the Card) Prepaid Debit cards to conduct a low dollar transaction followed by an attempt to obtain cash back in amounts between $40 and $50. We are recommending, that the Cash Back Option Be Denied Until Further Notice. Please offer an apology to the customer but turn down the option for cash back.
- Visa Cards
Visa cards being used for inside transaction may display a message of “Bad Magnetic Stripe” after the card has been swiped. Under no circumstance should the card be run using the Manual Entry Feature. Please deny the use of any card displaying this message and ask the customer for another form of payment.