A New Way to Steal Credit Card Information

A New Way to Steal Chip Card Information

The latest trend in credit card info theft being reporting is a “shimmer.” Shimmers, not to be confused with skimmers, which we’ve written about previously on the blog, are similar in that they’re able to record credit card information after consumers insert their card at the point-of-sales terminal. Much like skimmers, shimmers are able to gather information from the chip on the card but the main concern is how hard they are to detect.

Credit card skimmers are often bulky and wobbly, making them easier to spot as they capture information from the magnetic strip on the back of the card. A shimmer, named for its slim size, fits inside a card reader and can be quickly installed by a criminal who is pretending to make a purchase or withdrawal. Once installed, microchips on the device record information from chip cards, including the PIN. Thieves are able to retrieve the information by inserting a special card that downloads the information.

Shimmers have been reported in checkout card readers at a retailer in British Columbia, Canada. BBB suggests that you always keep a close eye on your credit card statements and debit accounts and immediately report any suspicious activity. It’s also been noted that shimmers will sometimes cause inserted cards to become stuck. If something seems peculiar during a transaction or bank withdrawal, please make the store or bank aware.

For more information on shimmers, read the full article at CBC News.