Gas thieves target lost or stolen rewards cards - FOX Carolina 21

Gas thieves target lost or stolen rewards cards

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A form of identity theft from one swipe of a customer loyalty card is now striking at the gas pump in parts of the Upstate.

Gas stations like Hot Spot offer rewards cards that in some cases are used for gas theft according to several criminal reports. A perk of the Hot Spot card according to the company website is it allows it's user to turn on a gas pump without prepaying or paying at the pump and some criminals are using that ability to drive off without paying the bill.

The card requires a signup with a valid ID and records it's owners personal information. However, if the card is lost or stolen and used for a drive-off, the owner's information is what shows up on that pump.

Spartanburg resident Youlounder Brannon says not long ago her wallet was stolen from her truck. Initially, she was concerned about credit cards and legal documents that were inside the wallet, she wasn't worried that her Hot Spot rewards card was also inside.

A week later, she got a call from a Hot Spot employee, informing her that her card had been swiped before someone pumped gas and then drove off without paying.

Brannon says she feels violated.

"It's a big deal," said Brannon. "Someone used my card and made it seem like I'm the one that stole the gas. Somebody used part of my identity to do wrong, that's not right."

FOX Carolina attempted to contact Hot Spot for comment, but did not get a response.

Spartanburg deputies say there have been 37 gas drive offs just in Spartanburg county since January, several of those involving Hot Spot Rewards cards.  

Authorities say if you have a rewards card and it goes missing or is stolen, it's important to report it immediately.  

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