Warning: Paying for Gas at the Pump Could Make You a Target for Hackers

IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock via Getty Images
IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock via Getty Images

Standing outside in the cold isn't always the worst part of filling your car's gas tank. If you pay for gas by card at the pump, you could be making yourself vulnerable to credit card fraud. As Lifehacker reports, criminals are now compromising gas stations by hacking into their computer systems.

Gas pump card readers have numerous safety issues compared to the systems used in stores. They aren't under constant human surveillance, which makes them easy targets for thieves looking to install card skimmers. But the new hacking scheme takes advantage of a different vulnerability; while most retailers transitioned to chip readers years ago, many outdoor gas pumps still rely on less-secure magnetic strips to complete transactions.

Visa shared a report this month [PDF] revealing that cyber-criminals are hacking into these point-of-sale systems by sending phishing emails to gas station employees. The emails contain a link that, when clicked, grants the sender access to the merchant's network. That means when customers use the card readers outside, hackers can steal their information without ever having to visit the gas station in person.

The deadline for most companies to switch over to chip readers was 2015, but for gas stations, that date was extended to October 2020 because the infrastructure at pumps is harder to update. The new phishing scheme may continue to be a problem as gas stations make the change over the next year, but until then, there are a few steps customers can take to protect their information. Pay for your gas inside when possible, as the register will likely use a chip reader. When you do have to pay with a card outside, use a credit card instead of a debit card, as credit cards are better protected against fraud and won't lead hackers to your personal bank account. And of course, if you have cash on hand, paying with that is always the safest bet.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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Grave Error: A Man Attempting to Fake His Own Death Was Caught Because of a Typo

Faking one's own death is never easy.
Faking one's own death is never easy.
Johnrob/iStock via Getty Images

It’s never advisable to fake your own death under any circumstances, but if you do, it’s very important to take the time and proofread your fraudulent death certificate.

That was the lesson learned by Robert Berger, 25, a Long Island resident who tried to convince authorities he was dead by forging documentation. According to CNN, Berger was charged with fourth-degree possession of stolen property in December 2018 as well as third-degree attempted grand larceny in June 2019. Entering a guilty plea for both, he was expected to be sentenced on October 22, 2019.

But instead of showing up for court, Berger was nowhere to be found. His attorney, Meir Moza, claimed his client had died.

Days later, Moza gave the court a copy of Berger’s “death certificate,” which was provided by Berger’s fiancé. The certificate listed Berger’s cause of death as suffocation as a result of suicide. But officials were suspicious of the fact that the word registry had been misspelled as regsitry three times throughout the document and that different font types had been used.

Prosecutors made an inquiry to the New Jersey Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry to confirm that they did indeed know how to spell registry and concluded that the document was a forgery.

Moza denied any role in the deception and prosecutors with Nassau County did not charge him. Berger, on the other hand, is now a subject of high interest. Curiously, he had been in prison in Pennsylvania since being arrested on other charges for providing a false identity to law enforcement in November 2019. He has since been extradited to Nassau County and now faces four years in prison for the new charge of offering a false instrument for filing, which is a felony.

Berger’s current legal troubles will need the aid of someone other than Moza, who has ended his representation of his un-deceased client.

[h/t CNN]