Pump switching: Police warn drivers of growing scam at gas stations

Police are offering some tips to protect yourself from this growing trend.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 2:51PM

Police warn drivers of 'pump switching' scam at gas stations

LOWER MERION TWP., Pennsylvania — Drivers are being warned about pump switching, a gas station scam that’s become a growing trend.

Police in Lower Merion Twp., Pennsylvania say the crime occurs when an aggressive suspect offers to help someone pump gas.

“The suspects are often very aggressive and outright refuse the victim’s attempts to deny assistance,” Lower Merion Twp. police said in a Facebook post.

The victim leaves, but the scammer doesn’t return the nozzle to the pump.

Instead, the scam artist uses the active transaction to pump gas for other drivers, while demanding cash for gas.

The suspects then keep the cash and leave the gas station, police say.

Police say most victims do not realize this crime has occurred for days or even weeks after the incident.

Anyone who is experiencing pump switching should call 911.

To protect yourself, police recommend hanging up your own gas nozzle to end the transaction and print a receipt.

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