Scams

How to Guard Against Card Skimmers

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.

-- 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

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022
tech stocks

The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022

The best tech-sector picks for the year to come include plays on some of the most exciting emergent technologies, as well as several old-guard mega-ca…
January 3, 2022
Can AI Beat the Market? 10 Stocks to Watch
stocks

Can AI Beat the Market? 10 Stocks to Watch

An artificial intelligence (AI) system identifying high-potential equities has been sharp in the past. Here are its 10 top stocks to watch over the ne…
January 14, 2022

Recommended

Freeze Your Credit in 3 Steps
credit & debt

Freeze Your Credit in 3 Steps

Freezing your accounts at the three major credit bureaus is the best way to prevent thieves from opening new credit accounts in your name.
January 10, 2022
Good Marriage, Bad Credit
Starting a Family

Good Marriage, Bad Credit

Credit reports aren’t merged for married couples, but their individual records affect joint loans.
December 21, 2021
How to Nix Checking Fees
Making Your Money Last

How to Nix Checking Fees

Strictly free accounts aren’t the only way to bank - almost all banks and credit unions offer ways around paying fees.
December 20, 2021
Scammers Target Last-minute Shoppers
Scams

Scammers Target Last-minute Shoppers

Products may be in short supply, but potential thieves are not. Be “scam smart” to keep your holiday happy.
December 14, 2021