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How to Avoid Credit Card Skimmers

Why You Should Always Wiggle the Machine Before Swiping Your Credit Card

In case you needed another reason to be extra careful when swiping your credit cards at random ATMs, this scary example should definitely do the trick.

Gas Station Skimmer from gifs

As you can see, credit card scammers are getting savvier when it comes to stealing your credit card information by using a small device known as a credit card skimmer. According to PC magazine, "skimmers are essentially malicious card readers that grab the data off the card's magnetic stripe" when you unknowingly insert your credit card into one of them.

The devices are often inconspicuously attached to real ATMs, gas pumps, and payment devices, so it's frighteningly easy to get tricked. The magazine also notes that most scammers will place hidden cameras next to the machines (or even inside of them!) in order to record your credit card's PIN number for later use.


Along with your PIN number and the information cloned from the magnetic strip of your card after you've swiped, scammers can easily access the money in your bank account, which is clearly something we all want to avoid. So the next time you find yourself in front of an ATM or a gas pump, make sure you wiggle the credit card reader, just in case. If anything seems suspicious, don't swipe! Better safe than sorry, right?

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich
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