Kip Tips


How to Guard Against Card Skimmers

Cameron Huddleston

Follow these steps to protect yourself from thieves who use devices to steal your credit and debit card information.



There are plenty of ways that thieves can steal your credit and debit card information. One of the more sophisticated -- and increasingly prevalent -- techniques is skimming. Thieves place an electronic device on ATMs that captures card information. They also use tiny cameras to record customers' PINs. These devices, which also can be installed at locations other than ATMs where people swipe debit and credit cards, can be difficult to detect. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself against card skimmers, says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com.

DOWNLOAD: The Kip Tips iPad App

Here are his recommendations, along with advice from the FBI:

-- Inspect before you swipe. Tug the card swiper to see if there's any movement or if it comes off. Also look for any signs of damage or adhesive tape residue.

Advertisement

-- Cover the keypad with your other hand as you enter your PIN to block the view of any cameras.

-- Use an ATM at an indoor location if possible because it's more difficult for thieves to access these machines to install skimmers.

-- Be wary of ATMs in tourist areas because they're popular targets of skimmers. Also avoid generic ATMs -- stick with bank ATMs at a branch to be safe.

-- Check your accounts regularly for suspicious charges or withdrawals.

If you think your card has been skimmed, contact your bank or credit-card company immediately. For more information about safeguarding your cards, see Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Theft.

Follow me on Twitter



Editor's Picks From Kiplinger


You can get valuable updates like Kip Tips from Kiplinger sent directly to your e-mail. Simply enter your e-mail address and click "sign up."

More Sponsored Links


DISCUSS

Permission to post your comment is assumed when you submit it. The name you provide will be used to identify your post, and NOT your e-mail address. We reserve the right to excerpt or edit any posted comments for clarity, appropriateness, civility, and relevance to the topic.
View our full privacy policy


Advertisement

Market Update

Advertisement

Featured Videos From Kiplinger