In 30 years of running a gas station in metro Detroit, Mike Daher's never heard of this one.
"They will figure out a way to scam," he said. "That's all they got, they have time to figure out how to scam you, scam me."
There's not much to it, just perfect timing and making sure the potential victim is distracted. Like a twisted magic trick, the gas you're pumping is appearing in someone else's tank.
Here's how it works, the thief gets there first, then he goes to the pump. But he doesn't use his own nozzle, he takes one from the other side and puts it his gas tank - then waits on his victim.
In the meantime he takes his pump and switches it with the one he just took, and again waits for his victim.
The unsuspecting customer just pulled up to the gas station and is ready to fill up their car, so they take their card and pop it in the slot..
The victim grabs what they assume is their gas pump, meanwhile over at the thief's vehicle the gas is going over there. So while the numbers are going up, the thief is filling up his tank right here.
Thieves distract the victim, so they don't notice what's happening, then when they get in their car and see the tank is empty, the criminals are long gone.
So the next time you're at the pump, take a second to make sure the hose you are using is actually the one attached to your pump.
"Basically just be aware," said Daher. "Be aware of what's going on, that's all you've got to do."
So far this is only happening in California, but FOX 2 is doing this story so that our viewers are prepared and know what to look for, rather than waiting to be the next victim.