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What Is Credit Card Skimming?

It is usual for people to draw out cash from ATMs at petrol pumps or inside the bank itself. But do you know your credit card is at a significant risk as attackers can steal your data? This is called credit card skimming. We will tell you how to identify and measure to stay safe.

Credit Card Skimming

The hackers use skimming as a method to obtain data from credit cards, debit cards, and ATMs. When you use your cards at the ATM or a channel that serves to be a merchant location.

The equipment of the ATM can be changed or tampered with by a device so that they can steal the magnetic stripe data attached to the backside of the card. This stripe carries the PIN numbers, used to access your account.

The technology has also facilitated the bad actors in this situation. How? The recent advancement allows them to receive nearby information wirelessly from the devices they installed on the ATM.

This information permits the criminals to copy the cards and note down the PIN numbers to fill their accounts directly from the ATM within a short time span.

Skimming: How Does It Take Place?

The above-described procedure must have left you wondering how skimming takes place.

Well, tiny versions of skimmers are attached to payment terminals to snatch your data from the magstripe, the magnetic strip behind your card.

If you are a new cardholder, then kindly stop assuming that you are safe from the wave. These shimmers are there to attack the chips that the new cards hold. When everything has taken the electronic course, so has this method, as e-skimmers do the same job, but from online payment websites.

Ways To Identify A Skimmer

Yes, you can identify the skimmer in physical and visual ways:

Check the Alignment Of The Card Reader and The Panel Below

When you enter the ATM, check the alignment of the card reader and the panel beneath it. The skimmers are often adjusted on the top of the original card reader. They stick out at odd angles or cover the arrows of the panel. If you sense something mysterious, compare the other ATMS within your reach and look for differences.

Security Tape Over The Cabinet Panel

See whether the ATM has a security tape over the cabinet panel. In case the tape is broken or pulled off, chances are that they have been fixed. You must avoid using it for any transaction. Bend a bit and check if there is anything inside the card reader. Spotted a thin plastic circuit board? Leave the ATM.

Feel The Movement Of The Card Reader

The card readers are designed so they cannot be easily moved, but if they are shaky or loose. Then that’s a red flag. It should not wiggle at all.

Ways To Avoid Being Skimmed

Skimming can be avoided:

If A Security Software Is Used

Security software can save you from such malicious frauds, and you can figure out when to enter your PIN.

If You Use A Fake Number Online

Protect yourself from being skimmed and use a fake number. The number is linked to your card number so that you can fool the attacker.


Hackers keep coming up with different approaches to steal your data, but you have to stay alert at your end to implement the suggestions above. If you ever suspect credit fraud or identity theft, contact the Florida credit card fraud attorneys at Sharmin & Sharmin.



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