How To Protect Yourself From Credit Card Skimming

Scammers and thieves have been around since there have been people to scam and material possessions to steal, and the existence of these social predators will likely never change. However, the methods used by scammers to swindle you out of your money are constantly changing, and the Age of Information has ushered in a new type of rip-off artist: the tech-savvy schemer. It’s in your best interest to learn what you can about how modern scammers can gain access to your bank account without you even knowing it, through a process called credit card skimming. Here’s what you need to know about protecting yourself from credit card skimming:

What is Skimming?

Skimming is the process of scanning a debit or credit card in order to grab and store the bank account data stored on its magnetic strip. Once recorded, this data can be translated with specialized computer software and disseminated through a channel of criminals to make use of it. Scammers who skim debit and credit cards are able to make purchases using the information on the cards, and without stealing the actual cards, themselves.

How do Credit Card Skimmers Pull it off?

Credit card skimmers need only a few seconds alone (or out of sight) with your card to pull off their sting. There are many card reading technologies available on the market and, although they are generally used to aid in legitimate business transactions, they can be put to use for less than honorable purposes when in the wrong hands. Any person who has a smart phone with scanning capabilities or a portable credit card scanner can record the information on your card in one fell swoop, and without you even knowing it.

Protecting yourself from Skimming

Unless you plan on discontinuing use of your debit and credit cards altogether, there is no foolproof way of ensuring that you will never expose your credit card information to a skimmer. The unfortunate fact is that every time you hand your card over to a waiter, salesperson, hairdresser, etc., you are making yourself vulnerable to the threat of skimming. The most important thing you can do to protect what you have in your bank account is to get into the habit of monitoring your bank account activity on a daily basis. That way you can spot and put an end to fraudulent use of your card(s) as soon as it starts. Secondly, you can pay close attention to people when they have your card in their hands. Remember that it takes just a few seconds to skim your card data, so you should have your eye on that card at all times when someone else has it.

There is no end in sight to the measures thieves will go to in order to get their hands on your valuables, even as a business owner using services from and other sources. However, you can be just as relentless in the protection of your valuables. Make yourself as invulnerable as possible to credit card skimmers by keeping these points in mind.

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