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Woman Discovers Trick to Get $27,000 in Free Gas

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A Nebraskan scammer found a gas pump software glitch that allowed her to get tens of thousands of dollars worth of free gas — until the owners caught onto her, that is.

As Lincoln's 1011 Now local broadcaster reports, a 45-year-old woman has been charged with one count of theft after discovering a vulnerability in the gas machines at a shop called "Pump and Pantry."

Upon further investigation, the cops figured out the root of the woman's scheme: an update to the pumps' rewards management software in November 2022, allegedly made at the request of customers and staff alike.

Due to a glitch in the unnamed software, a double swipe of the rewards card would enter pumps into "demo mode," thus allowing them to dispense gas without charge.

One rewards card — the one belonging to the 45-year-old woman — had been used repeatedly to get free gas, and by tracing its information, the station's parent company, Bosselman Enterprise, was able to pinpoint her identity.

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Though they're not entirely sure, Lincoln police told the local news station that they believe the woman used her rewards card to get free gas a total of 510 times between November 2022 and June 2023. Ultimately, it's believed that the woman pumped over 7,000 gallons worth of free fuel to the tune of more than $27,000.

Beyond just getting free gas for herself, the woman appears to have profited off the scheme as well. As another person pinpointed as a recipient of glitchy gas told the cops, the woman let at least one other person use the card to get "discounted gas" on 10 occasions, charging a total of $500 for $700 worth of gas.

That same person also told police that the woman sold the card to someone on June 1, 2023 — the same day the software glitch was fixed, the report notes.

A mix of small-town swindling meets dumb software, the tale of the Nebraska gas scammer really has it all — including that the woman allegedly sold the card to someone to pay off a car debt, and that police could not contact the man during their months-long investigation of the fuel theft because the man is now dead.

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