Credit card skimming is one of the biggest problems facing people who use credit cards. These machines look just like real credit card machines but steal the information and data off cards. The skimmers cannot only steal the user’s name and the card number but also find the CVV and expiration date. Unfortunately, they often appear at gas stations because users are in a hurry and may not notice that the machine looks different than it should. Anyone using an ATM or credit card should know how to avoid credit card skimming and identify these machines.
One easy way to spot a credit card skimmer is by closely looking at the machine. Though skimmers can look official, they usually do not correctly fit on top of the original machine. Simply pushing the machine can let a user know if it’s fake. While real machines won’t move, skimmers will often wiggle. Some even have a gap between the top of the original machine and the base of the skimmer. Some modern skimmers have a tighter fit and are harder to spot.
A credit card reader’s mouth is where a user puts their credit card. It must be thin and have a tight fit to ensure that the machine grabs the card information and that the card doesn’t fall out. Some of the cheaper skimmers have mouths that are too wide or too skinny. This causes cards to slide out when entered or can make it feel almost impossible to slide the card inside. It’s also helpful to get close and look at the mouth. This can reveal whether there is anything inside that should not be there.
Apps and Tools
There are a few different apps that help people identify card skimmers. For example, Bluetana is easy to use and scans the area around the user to determine if there are any skimmers nearby. Users can also invest in tools like Skim Reaper, which looks like an ordinary card. When entered into a machine, though, it quickly tells the user whether the machine is genuine and safe to use or if it is a skimmer.
Why Avoid Skimmers?
Learning how to avoid credit card skimming is essential because the pros at SoFi found that more than 390,000 identity theft cases each year involve credit card fraud. Once a scammer has the credit card data, they can use that card online and even open new lines of credit in the individual’s name. Though often found at gas stations and small stores, many people now find skimmers in big stores and bank ATMs.
People worldwide use credit cards every day without thinking about whether the machines they use are safe. Skimmers make it easy for others to steal and use card data differently. Anyone with a credit card they use in the real world should ensure they know how to spot a skimmer. With the help of this article, you have hopefully learned how to do it yourself. So, beware and keep learning about new financial threats to deal with them.