A lot of the gas stations are putting a hold on your bank account for a high dollar amount when you use a debit card to pay for gas. Most of the time it is for a set amount, such as $75, which is much more money than what most people actually spend at the pump.I believe the average purchase at the pump is now averaging about $40-$45. The hold remains on your account making the excess amount unavailable to you until the hold is released – sometimes several days later.
Its not a scam but its a problem for a lot of people who keep low balances. The hold can be left on the account for several days, depending on which day of the week you buy the gas. If you buy gas on a Friday afternoon, it can be Tuesday midnight before the bank processes the batch orders to make your funds available.
The way to avoid this is to pay cash for gas or to put it on a credit card if you are good about paying the whole balance each month and not letting the charges carry over with interest added to it.
A lot of gas stations have ATMS inside their stores with no fees for using their ATM, like the Thorntons chain in Nashville. You can withdraw the cash and pay for your gas with no problems about fees or holds on your account. I pay cash whenever possible.