How To Spot Credit Card Skimmer

How To Spot And Avoid Credit Card Skimmers?

Are you scared of losing money from your Credit Card?

Well, there are possibilities that you someone can theft your credit or debit card at ATMs, Gas Station, Restaurants or Retail Stores. I know that sounds scary apart from managing a good credit score. According to data, more than 603,591 case of identity theft have been registered in 2022.

57% of Canadians surveyed report being targeted by scams; retail, logistics, financial services, and travel and leisure sectors see highest increase in fraudster targeting

Survey By TarnsUnion

However, there are ways that can help you spot skimmers by doing physical inspection and quick visuals that can lower the risk of being targeted. In this article, I will provide you the best tricks to avoid getting your credit card skimmed.

What is Credit Card Skimmer?

A Credit Card skimmer is a device that can attached to payment terminal to steal your credit card information. These devices are designed to collect the data (such as credit card’s number, cardholder’s name, expiration date and CVV code) stored on the magnetic stripe of a credit or debit card to used it for fraudulent purchases.

How To Check For Card Skimmer?

Detecting Credit Card skimmer can be a challenging task as the design are pretty upgraded but a visual and physical inspection can be tried to identify this devices. To identify the Credit Card Skimmer, you can follow these simple steps:

Inspect the Payment Terminal

When using any payment terminal, visually inspect the machine and see if there is any sign of tampering or loose components such as misaligned card reader, additional device connected to card reader, scratched or any signs of forced entry.

This process will help you i understand the changes and can trigger a feeling that the kiosk had been changed or altered for fraudulent activities.

Check For Irregularities

Look for any unusual or difference features of the payment terminal. Check the keypad and the card reader to see if they are loose, raised or the colors on the keypad doesn’t match the other payment terminal. Also, try to gently wiggle or pull the card reader to see if that is properly attached.

For example, if you are using your credit card at gas station then you must have noticed security tape over the cabinet panel that ensures that it is safe to use the payment terminal. However, any change with security tape can pose a risk of data violation and potential theft.

Use Contactless Payment Method

With the upgraded mode of payment like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Contactless Card Payment. Try to avoid using any sort of direct payment on payment terminal because there might be a hidden camera which will collect your PIN.

It will reduce the risk of getting skimmers capture your credit card information because these online payment use encrypted communication and credit card tokenization.

Credit Card Tokenization is a process of removing sensitive data from a company’s internal network database by putting randomly generated unique placeholders(digits)

What Happen If My Credit Card or Debit Card Get Skimmed?

Credit Card Skimmers often use your card details to make a fake credit card to use it for online purchase or other fraudulent activities. Additionally, there is a possibility that they can sell your data on the internet that can severely impact your card and the bank account.

In such cases, try to contact the bank if you see any activity from your card. The bank will immediately block your card which will stop any form of payments. Or else, you can opt for Zero Liability Credit Card, which provides you a sense of safety because you are not responsible for any payment to the bank if you card is being misused.

Can Card Skimmers Get Card Number If You Tap?

No, If you are tapping the card with a chip or inserting the chip part of the card into the payment terminal, the card skimmer will not able to read or record the credit card information.

Is it better to tap or insert card?

The use of combination of chip technology, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communication (NFC) makes tapping your Credit or Debit Card way more safer as compared to Inserting your card into the payment terminal.

Final Words

Credit Card Skimming is quite common these days and the potential for getting your credit card information stole and misused too. But you can easy check if the ATMs, Gas Station or any payment terminal is being used for skimming or not by simply following the mentioned methods.

However, if you credit card information is stolen or used by someone to make fraudulent activities, Report the suspicious activity as soon as possible. Additionally, opting for credit card’s zero fraud liability policy can protect you from any financial circumstances or getting hit to your credit card score.

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