Thu, Feb 7, 2019

What Is a Credit Card Skimmer and How You Can Avoid Them

Experts estimate that compromises of ATMs and point-of-sale devices, like card readers at gas pumps, rose 8 percent in the U.S. in 2017. That followed a 70 percent jump the previous year. The main culprit: skimmers, electronic devices that steal credit card and debit card data via the Achilles’ heel of payment cards: the magnetic strip, or stripe, which continue to appear on newer chip-enabled cards.

While skimmers are placed surreptitiously over the card reader, a newer technology, called a shimmer, is even more difficult to spot because it consists of a small, thin chip that's tucked inside the slot of a card reader.

Alan Brill, Senior Managing Director, Cyber Risk practice in Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps, notes how shimmers have made it relatively simple for criminals to steal data: "The crook could park nearby – within a hundred feet or so – leave a laptop running in the trunk of their car and walk away, coming back later to find all of the data stolen from the magnetic strips of gas pump customers' cards."

Read the full article here