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Credit Card Skimming: How thieves can steal your card info without you knowing it

By jheary on Wed, 10/01/08 - 4:52pm.

Taking just 5 seconds to inspect any credit/debit card readers before you swipe could end up saving you from identity and credit card theft. I’ll show you what to look for before you swipe your next card. The con is called skimming. Skimming works by retrofitting a perfectly legitimate card reader (like an ATM) with a camouflaged counterfeit card reader. The counterfeit reader records all of your card’s information as it passes through. To give you an idea of what we are dealing with, here is a picture of an ATM with a skimmer overlaid on to the slot where you insert your card and a micro camera hidden behind a bogus white plastic piece above the PIN keypad. This ATM was reported to police on September 6, 2008.
Image is Courtesy of Naples Police Department:

Would you have known it was stealing card data? The purpose of this blog is to educate you on how to identify a skimmer. To that end I’ve compiled a portfolio of example photos made up of both basic and advanced skimmers. It is by no means all inclusive but should give you a heads up on what to look out for the next time you go to swipe your card.