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Holographic decals added to some Calgary gas pumps to fight skimming

Holographic decals are being installed at Petro-Canada and Circle K pay-at-the-pump stations, in an effort to fight bank customer data theft, which police say is a billion-dollar industry.

Police recommend tap-to-pay feature to reduce chance of being victim of fraud

The stickers are placed on the card reader, left, and above the pin pad. It's a message to customers that the terminal has not been tampered with. (Francois Joly/Radio-Canada)

Holographic decals are being installed at Petro-Canada and Circle K pay-at-the-pump stations, in an effort to fight bank customer data theft, which police say is a billion-dollar industry.

The stickers are placed on the card reader and above the keypad as a way of alerting customers they are safe to use.

"They're very crisp and clean. If you do peel them off, they will break apart. So it's going to be hard for you to re-use them without someone looking at that and saying 'Hey, wait a minute, that decal does not look proper,'" said Sean Sportun of the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association.

In the past, illegal equipment has been installed above keypads and on card readers that allowed thieves to capture card information and personal identification numbers.

New decals are being placed at select gas pumps in Calgary to help customers tell if a machine has been tampered with. 0:36

Tap-to-pay safest option, say police

Staff Sgt. Cory Dayley with the Calgary Police Service's cyber/forensic unit says it's important to be vigilant when paying at the pump

"Before a citizen uses their payment card, they should always look for any signs of tampering on the payment device," Dayley said.

"If available, we recommend citizens take advantage of the tap-to-pay features on their payment card, which is extremely secure and less likely to result in a breach of their data if the device has been compromised."

Calgary police seized one skimming device at a gas pump in 2017, but no arrests have been made. Police say skimming — including pay at the pump operations — is a billion-dollar industry Canada-wide.

With files from Andrew Brown and Francois Joly