Spot Credit Card Skimmers

With technological advances, it becomes less common that your physical credit card will be stolen and more likely that your credit card number and data will be digitally stolen. With that in mind, keep your eyes peeled for credit card skimmers. Public credit card swipe stations (such as gas station pumps and ATMs) are especially vulnerable to thieves who place a card reader within or on top of the actual card reader and a false keyboard on top of the original. So, when you swipe your card to get gas, the thief gets your information, without you ever noticing a thing. So, how do you spot a credit card skimmer? In the photo, notice how the yellow reader doesn’t fit the brands color scheme and its size pushes it forward to touch the arrows. It’s a skimmer!

Here are a few other tips:

  • Take note of how the card reader and keyboard looks. If something looks fishy, use a different pump or ATM and report your suspicions.
  • Look for an unbroken seal. To insert a skimmer on a gas station pump, theives must open the pump. To combat this, some gas stations are placing a tape seal on their machines. If that seal is broken, report it.
  • Be wary if it’s difficult to insert your card, that might mean there’s a device inside the original credit card reader.
  • Feel the credit card reader with your fingers. If it’s loose, a device may have been placed on top of the original reader.
  • Choose a visible pump or ATM. Thieves will attach skimmers to less visible pumps to avoid getting caught.
  • Pay inside at the gas station.
  • Set up email alerts for fraudulent activity and monitor your credit and debit card transactions weekly, if not daily.

Thank you Bruce Bryant for asking this question, we all learned something new with this one. And, now we’ll always think of you when we jiggle the credit card reader at the gas pump. YDST readers, we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you! Contact us to submit your tip ideas, partnership thoughts, and connections to potential sponsors. Y’all are the best.