Identity thieves are everywhere, even at the gas pump. Using skimmers, thieves can purloin debit and credit card data when consumers fill up and pay at the pump.
Police have turned to GPS tracking monitoring systems to help them catch the thieves. In California, law enforcement has successfully caught and prosecuted thieves by using the devices.
How It Works
Skimmers aren’t new and are often associated with ATM fraud. But gas pump skimmers add a layer of trouble. They are undetectable to people filling their tanks because the device is hidden inside the pump payment unit.
When you use a credit or debit card on a pump with a skimmer, it records all your private data. There are two types of devices, one using wireless and the other requiring the thief to remove the unit in order to get access to the data. This was what the California crooks were using.
Police added a tiny GPS to the skimmers and put them back in place in the pump. When the criminal came back to pick up the skimmers, police were able to track him. The GPS pinged the new location of the thief every 6 seconds, making it easy for the police to follow him. He was caught red-handed with a number of skimmers and it was later determined he was tied to organized crime.
In a check of over 6,100 gas stations in Florida, more than 80 had skimmers. Though most were at stations along main highways, a few were found in rural areas.
In Denver recently, police discovered that more than 30 stations close to major roadways had skimmers. Prompted by a local bank, police and U.S. Secret Service agents led the investigation. Large numbers of skimmers have also been found in Arizona.
Experts recommend sticking to cash, or if you prefer to pay at the pump, a credit card but not debit cards. The problem is that getting your debit card data can allow thieves to empty your checking account, resulting in bounced checks while you wait for the bank to figure out how to handle the problem.
An additional problem with debit cards is the fact that though the Electronic Fund Transfer Act limits debit card liability to $50, you need to get in touch with your bank within two days. If you wait more than that but less than 60 days, your liability goes up to $500. And if you wait longer than 60 days, you are out all the money the thieves take.
Thanks to the Truth in Lending Act, consumers have a liability limit of $50 once the credit card is reported lost or stolen, and many banks will waive this. That is the sum total of the liability, unlike debit cards.
The safest place to get gas is at the pump closest to the store or the cashier cubicle. Thieves tend to place the skimmers at the pumps farthest away from the store.
Equipment is one of the biggest expenses in the transport industry, and theft or misplacement of equipment is not uncommon. In order to ensure your fleet and all of your equipment and supplies are safe and secure, keeping an eye on them with GPS equipment tracking is definitely prudent. It allows you to not only keep a close watch on the activity of the vehicles in your fleet, but it also lets you keep tabs on heavy equipment, trailers, and freight.
Cellular and satellite networks are used to keep watch over your assets when you have a GPS tracking system set in place. So, no matter where your equipment is located or transported to, you will always be able to know exactly where it is located.
The Benefits of GPS Tracking for Equipment and Assets
There are a number of benefits that come with using GPS tracking to keep an eye on your equipment and assets. For one thing, you’ll be able to protect your fleet and your assets against theft, a problem that is not uncommon in this industry. You can also expand the life of your assets and closely monitor your assets in real-time.
Since you’ll be able to keep tabs on your equipment, you’ll be able to reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction; all things that are definitely a plus for your business.
Types of GPS Asset Tracking Devices
There are two main types GPS asset tracking devices available to choose from, including:
- Tracking devices that are powered externally. These GPS tracking devices must be wired to some sort of power source on the asset it will be used to track. With that in mind, this type of device should only be used to track assets that are regularly powered.
- GPS tracking devices that are powered by battery. Instead of needing a direct power source that requires regular recharging, a battery powered GPS tracking device runs, well, on batteries. This type of tracking device is well suited for trailers and storage containers, as well as any other asset that is not powered on a regular basis.
Additional Uses for GPS Monitoring
GPS tracking isn’t only intended to keep an eye on your assets; it can be used in a number of other ways that will benefit your business, including:
Determining whether or not a specific asset is on a job site and if it is not, it can be located and returned to the site.
Confirmation of the start and end times of your workers, which helps to improve invoicing and payroll.
Do you have equipment that is at risk of being stolen? If so, contact LiveView GPS at 1-888-502-3636 to learn more about the benefits of GPS equipment tracking.
Hedgehogs have all but disappeared in central London. However, a recently discovery of a small population of hedgehogs have managed to survive in this highly populated and high traffic part of London, escaping extinction for the entire population of hedgehogs in the city.
The busy roads of central London are one of the major reasons for the sharp decline of the hedgehog population in central London. The population that has managed to escape the brink of extinction have been able to do so because they learned how to avoid the busy roads, according to a recent study.
At one time, hedgehogs lived in large numbers across the United Kingdom, but in the past 60 years, their population has rapidly decreased. One of the leading causes of the death of these animals is traffic-related accidents. In other words, the hedgehogs population has been depleted as a result of being hit by motorists.
While the hedgehog population has sharply declined all over the UK, central London has experienced the biggest decline because of its exceptionally high amounts of traffic. However, in Regents Park, a small population of these creatures has been discovered, and recent studies suggest that the reason for this is because they have learned how to stay away from the busy roads.
A representative of the Royal Parks Foundation, Clare Bowen, reported that several of the hedgehogs in Regents Park have been tagged with GPS tracking devices, which has allowed scientists to keep track of their behaviors and their movements. All recordings have conclusively shown that the hedgehogs never leave the park and thus never have to cross the main roads, which have claimed the lives of the vast majority of these animals.
Another indicator that these central London hedgehogs have learned how to avoid busy roads is that there is absolutely no presence of dead hedgehogs resulting from being struck by cars in the area around Regents Park.
There are a total of five main parks in central London, including St James, Hyde, Green, Kensington Gardens and Regents Parks and hedgehogs once resided in all of them; however, today, there are no longer hedgehogs in the latter four parks and the only ones that remain are in Regents Park.
In addition to GPS tracking, radio tags and thermal imaging cameras were used to study the hedgehogs.
The data that has been recorded about the hedgehogs that do reside in Regents Park has lead to changes in habitat management of these creatures. The locations and the amount of grass cuttings have been modified to make the park friendlier to hedgehogs.
Additionally, the grassland that is next to hedges in the park will be allowed to grow longer in order to give the hedgehogs a safer haven to live. And, similar actions will be taken throughout other green spaces in London to make the city headghog-friendly once again.