Skimmers Getting More Difficult to Detect
- By Ginger Hill
- Jul 07, 2014
Designed to always camouflage with their surroundings, skimmers, miniature devices that fraudsters plant to capture credit and debit card data at ATMs or gas stations, are getting even harder to detect based on the sheer size of the devices.
Across Europe, a large number of skimmers have been found that were small enough to fit inside the ATM card slot, making them less obvious to the average person. And, thieves are getting smarter, pairing skimmers with hidden spy cameras that are also hard to notice. In fact, most people never even realize their financial data has been compromised until they see fraudulent charges on their statements.
Adding to the skimmers are mobile chips that can send credit or debit card data via text message so that the criminal can avoid the risk of actually have to return to the place they planted the skimmer to retrieve it.
Unfortunately, the United States is very slow to adopt chip and PIN debit/credit cards, so for now, international banks are forced to keep manufacturing cards with the highly vulnerable magnetic stripe.
So, what do we do? For now, about all that can be done is to keep your eyes open for card slots that show signs of tampering before entering your credit/debit card.
*(Image above from Krebs Security is of a mini-skimmer designed to slip inside of a NCR ATM’s card acceptance slot.)
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.