7 Ways People Will Steal Your Credit Card Information

Above: See a skimming device secured in front of a standard pump credit card swiper.

Above: See a skimming device secured in front of a standard pump credit card swiper.

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Credit is king and cash is nearly dead. Credit cards are incredibly convenient for many reasons, but the downside is if someone gets your card info, they can spend thousands of dollars in your name! It is estimated that someone’s identity is stolen every 2.5 seconds. Below are 7 of the top ways thieves are stealing your credit card info – many are avoidable if you are aware.

1) Credit card skimmers

Skimmers are a device gaining in popularity, and being combated throughout the country. A credit card skimmer is a device that is hooked up to credit card readers. Typically, the skimmer is attached to a reader that is either in an unmanned or not frequently attended unit. For example, a gas station pump or ATM. Once attached, the unwitting victim scans their credit card and all of that information is downloaded into a program. There is enough sophistication in these devices that the thieves can park a car nearby in order to download all of the credit card information remotely. The busier the location, the more information they can receive and the thieves can then sell your information.

It may be tricky for a thief to get in and attach the skimmers, however, thieves are known to be clever. Gas stations have started to combat skimmers with regular checks of their gas pumps and applying a tamper proof seal to checked pumps.

If you don’t want to go inside to pay for your gas, make sure the gas pump you are using has a tamper proof seal on it. Often those seals will have a date and employee initial. If the seal is tampered with, don’t use that pump and report the tampered seal to the gas station manager.

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