Now that we have EMV chip cards to prevent fraud, the thieves have to come up with new ways to get our data. You may have heard about a skimmer, which pulled information off the mag stripe. Now the fraudsters have what is called a shimmer. And it is so thin that it becomes almost undetectable. A shimmer can be installed inside the chip reader inside a credit card terminal or even an ATM and no one even knows it is there. It can pull the cardholder’s information off the chip as it is inserted into the credit card terminal, whether it be a credit card or even a debit card. Even your PIN can be captured and crooks can then immediately start making charges with the card and withdrawals from your bank account.
So what are we consumers supposed to do? To start with, check your credit card and bank statements every month. Do not overlook small charges under $5. Crooks use test transactions of small amounts because many times these amounts are under your radar. And they typically don’t test with even dollar amounts because they are more readily detected.
Of course, set up alerts with your credit card company so you can get a text or email when a transaction looks unusual compared to your profile or out of your geographic area.
Thirdly, you can use Apple Pay or Android Pay. These apps transmit a code instead of a credit card number in handling a payment transaction.
Digital money is growing in popularity more each day. It appears like it is here to stay. The convenience seems to outweigh the challenge with fraud. It is ultimately our responsibility as consumers to protect our identity theft and card data theft.