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Gas pump skimmer bill passes Senate; heads to governor's desk

by Carrie Buchholz | May 15, 2019

The Texas Senate passed HB 2945 by Rep. Mary Ann Perez (D-Houston) and Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) on a unanimous vote, and the bill now moves to the governor’s desk.  This is one of a series of bills the Texas Credit Union Association has been supporting this session to combat credit and debit card fraud caused by skimmers.

The use of skimmers on gas pumps to steal credit and debit card information from unsuspecting consumers is a growing problem for Texas consumers, businesses, and financial institutions.

The bill requires a merchant, upon discovery of a skimmer, to disable the fuel dispenser immediately, notify local law enforcement, take appropriate measures to protect the motor fuel dispenser from tampering until local law enforcement agency arrives, and report the discovery of a skimmer within 24 hours. 

Merchants that fail to report skimmers or take corrective action as necessary to prevent further fraud risk civil penalties of a $5,000 maximum fine per violation. Serious infractions could result in a state jail felony.

The bill also establishes a Payment Card Fraud Center that would serve as the state’s primary entity for the planning, coordination, and integration of law enforcement agencies to combat payment card fraud, including the use of skimmers. Before passage, Zaffirini offered a floor amendment to address appropriations for the Payment Card Fraud Center. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for the center, the attorney general may use other funds available under his purview.

Contact Jeff Huffman, Texas Credit Union Association, at 469-385-6488 or for more information.