Credit card skimmers | What the Tech?

Credit card skimmers | What the Tech?

Credit card skimmers are on the rise again. Here is what to know.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — The FBI warns that credit card skimmers are back on the rise across the U.S., including in New Mexico where EBT skimmers have been an issue.

It’s tricky. Someone puts a device over a card machine or ATM. Then, when you insert or swipe your card, the scammer steals your information.

Police in several states report finding credit card skimmers on gas pumps and in convenience stores. State police in New York say they’ve been found in Walmart stores there.

How easy are they to install? One bad guy distracts a convenience store worker, while his partner installs a skimmer at the register. All, in less than four seconds.

When a customer swipes their card at that register, the bad guy is able to see the credit card number and PIN, and then use it wherever they want.

Since it’s so easy to install these, it’s up to consumers to protect themselves. Before using one anywhere, tug at it. Don’t destroy it, but see if it’s loose. If you’re at a gas pump, use one closest to the attendant. Or go inside to pay.

Do not swipe a debit card as it immediately takes money from your account. Credit card companies generally protect their customers from fraud.

Rather than swipe your card, insert or tap your credit card. It’s more difficult for criminals to skim information with chip cards.

When you tap to pay, whether it’s your phone or tapping the card, it creates a one-time transaction code that cannot be duplicated or reproduced.

The best way to protect yourself from skimmers, is never swiping a card. If your card doesn’t have a chip, ask your bank or credit card company for a replacement.

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