When you pull up to a gas pump or visit your bank’s ATM, you might not be paying much attention when inserting your card. You might have missed an attachment to these machines, often called a credit card skimmer, which is used to access credit card information. Scammers are able to replicate the look of these machines, placing their crafted skimmers over the area where you insert your card. Once a card is swiped, the skimmer is able to store the details of the magnetic strip.
How are you instantly able to avoid these types of skimmers? One of the most immediate ways to check is to jiggle on the scanner around the card slot. ATMs are not meant to have loose parts, so wiggling the foreign insert could remove it completely. Scammers might not be able to fully install one of these devices, for fear of being caught by employees or cameras, so these scanners could be loosely mounted.
Scammers are advancing with their skimmer techniques, resorting to internal devices such as one that was discovered at a gas pump on Route 303 in Brunswick, Ohio. An internal skimming device was found attached to the credit card key pad on one of the pumps. An order to enhance inspections has been issued in the area of Medina County, including the usage of blue tape on devices. If these devices have been tampered with, the tape shows a voided side, warning customers of illegal activity.
Other similar attacks have been reported in Barberton, Tallmadge, Norton and Wadsworth in the past year.
There are other ways of preventing identity theft and avoiding credit card skimmers:
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