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Financial Outsourcing Solutions


FOS Blog

07 Jul

What’s Trending in Skimming?

What’s Trending in Skimming?

Skimming is a method used by identity thieves to gain personal information from unsuspecting victims while using a credit or debit card.  The unsuspecting victim is withdrawing cash from an ATM or making a purchase at a store, not realizing that his or her information is being captured for future use by identity thieves.  Like anything else; technology in skimming is advancing, and we all need to stay current on what is trending.

The latest skimmers are becoming more difficult to identify and the sophistication of these criminal devices is increasing.  Deep skimmers are extremely difficult to detect because they are placed deep inside the card reader of machines.  Not only will the bank or consumer not know the device is there; anti-skimming detectors will not be effective on this type of skimmer.  Deep skimmers are more advanced in how the information is stored in comparison to previous exterior skimmer devices.  This device uses a tiny memory chip to store account information that was skimmed from debit cards and in some cases, the thief can retrieve the data captured wirelessly.  Another trending skimmer device that has security experts concerned, are blue tooth skimmers.  These skimmers are focused on capturing a card holder’s information during a point of sale purchase and can contain a SIM card which enables the stolen information to be sent wirelessly anywhere in the world.  This technology allows thieves to begin making purchases and stealing the funds from a victim’s account almost immediately.

All consumers are at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft through a skimming device and need to be aware if anything looks suspicious when using a card however; banks and businesses need to take extra precautionary steps to protect consumers.  Cameras have always been a good deterrent, and installing a GPS tracker is a helpful tool that can be used when the thief returns to obtain the stolen information.  With devices that are wirelessly sending information back to the thief, consumers can sometimes utilize the Wi-Fi on a smart phone to pick up on any suspicious signal in that area.  Consumers, banks, and businesses need to be educated on all types of skimming devices and learn ways of prevention to help reduce this trending criminal activity.

Article written by Nicole Flemmens.