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What Is Credit Card Skimming?

Just swiping your credit card seems like such a simple action, but it could lead to financial fraud. With just one swipe, your credit card information, bank account details, and personally identifiable information could be shared with someone who wishes to use it for their own profit. One way to do this is through skimming. What is credit card skimming, and what does it mean if you are a victim?

Know that if you have been a victim of credit card skimming, our legal team is here to help you. Call our Florida credit card fraud attorney at Sharmin & Sharmin now to learn how we can guide you.

What Is Credit Card Skimming?

How Does Credit Card Skimming Work? 

In credit card skimming, a person places a device on a credit card reader. This could be done on a credit card reader in a retail location or at an ATM. Any credit card-reading machine could be used in this way. This very small and hard-to-notice device collects the information from the credit card when a person swipes their card through it, often unknowingly. Skimming can collect:

  • Your credit card number
  • The security code you enter
  • Your personal information
  • Any other information stored on the magnetic strips on the card 

This information is then collected and could be used in one of several ways. It is not uncommon for a thief to use this information to create a duplicate card that applies charges to your card. Other times, the information is sold to a third party who will use that information to steal money and your identity.

Does Credit Card Skimming Still Happen?

Credit card skimming was very common just a few years ago. Prior to the inclusion of chips on cards that create a one-time encrypted code when being used, it was far easier for skimming to happen. However, this is still a big threat. Because these devices can be very small and hard to notice, anyone can fall victim to them.

With the information that is obtained from these devices, it may be possible for thieves not only to steal a few dollars from your account but also to gather sensitive information that exposes you to identity theft.

What Can You Do to Avoid Being the Victim of Credit Card Skimming?

There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from credit card skimming:

  • Before you swipe your card for any reason, inspect the machine. Most of the time, these devices are installed on credit card machines and ATMs in less secure areas, like gas stations, rather than on banks.
  • Look for a fake keypad that is placed over the top of the existing keypad, gathering your personal information as you type it in.
  • Look for anything placed over the credit card reader. If the portion you put your card in pulls away, that is a sign of a reader.

Are You the Victim of Identity Theft?

If you have become a victim of credit card skimming, let our legal team help you. At Sharmin & Sharmin, we work to protect our clients from identity theft and the repercussions that come from it. Contact us immediately for a free consultation.

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