Skimming is when someone steals the credit card information while you are making a legitimate transaction. The thief uses a small electronic device, called a skimmer, to swipe and store hundreds of credit card numbers.
Once they download the information onto their computer, they can sell the information on black-market forums; they can purchase things online, or even create new credit cards with your information using blank credit card stock and a credit card encoder.
Restaurants are high risk because you hand your credit card over to your server and let them walk away with it. If they’re working with a partner, they can even skim your card, have it duplicated, and start using the card to make purchases all before you’ve even left the restaurant.
To protect yourself, pay with cash. If you have to use a card then be sure it’s a credit card and not your debit card.
The national craft store chain “Michael’s” was victim to a recent debit-card skimming scheme where thieves managed to hack the debit-processing equipment at 80 locations in 20 states.
Credit and debit card skimming is getting much worse here in the United States. Although all types of cards are at risk, crooks more often target debit card holders.
Credit-card thieves use your card to purchase merchandise and then resell that merchandise so they can get cash. However, debit card thieves get cash without the hassle of buying and selling merchandise. When you get the statement you can call the credit card company and report the misuse and dispute the charges. NEVER pay using your debit card.
If you must use a debit card, then create a checking account just for debit card use and then have the majority of your money in a different checking or savings account.
Then when you use that debit card, always choose the screen prompt that identifies it as a credit card so that you do not have to type in your PIN.
If your card is lost or stolen, you’ll usually get most of your money back, but only if you report it right away.
Credit Card Skimming, The Facts You Don’t Know