Ways to Avoid Credit Card Skimmers


(Modern Survival.org) – How Can You Avoid Credit Card Skimmers When Using Your Credit Card?

  • Inspect Equipment
  • Avoid Banks
  • Avoid ATMs
  • Use Cash

Answer: Inspect Equipment. Here’s why…

Credit card skimming is a growing threat to consumers across America. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), skimming occurs when a criminal steals credit card data using illegally installed devices on ATMs and point of sale terminals such as gas pumps.

This information is then used to create fake credit or debit cards and steal from the victims’ accounts. The FBI estimates that roughly one billion dollars worth of damage is done by skimmers to financial institutions and consumers every year.

Skimmer Crime is Evolving

Identifying card skimmers used to be a simple matter of inspecting the reader to see if a criminal had installed a skimming device. These devices used to be relatively easy to detect for those paying attention. That’s because skimmers were installed directly over the actual card receptacle. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case anymore.

Criminals now install skimmers inside the machines themselves, which makes detecting them harder. Even with this upgrade, there are still ways to protect your information.

To keep your account secure at the gas pump, here are some tips:

  • Pay inside. Going inside the store to pay may be less convenient than paying at the pump, but the chances of encountering a skimmer inside are far lower than at the card reader outside.
  • Use the chip reader. If the pump has a chip reader, use it. The chip makes stealing the card’s account information much harder than the magnetic strip does.
  • Be picky about the pump. Use the pump closest to the actual store, as these are less likely to have skimmers installed. Criminals are more likely to install a skimmer in a location of low visibility to avoid detection.
  • Get an app. There are now apps available for smartphones that can detect the Bluetooth technology used by criminals to steal account information.

Survival is as much about staying safe in the day-to-day grind as it is about living through a major emergency. This includes avoiding criminal elements looking to make a quick buck at your expense.

For information on how you can become better prepared each time you leave home, check out our article here.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

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