Most people believe that credit card theft usually happens when a thief steals their wallet or purse or gathers their information through malware, phishing sites and hacking. The truth is that many people become victims of credit card and subsequent identity theft while talking with thieves during friendly face-to-face conversations every day! An ABC News Good Morning America investigation shared on YouTube on September 18, 2014, as a video titled “How to Keep Your Credit Card Safe from ‘Skimming’” has been recently trending on social media during the recent uptick in sales before the autumn and winter holidays.
As revealed in the story, thieves steal from consumers via a method called skimming where the cashier or waiter/waitress swipes the card once through the point of sale magnetic stripe reader and then again through their own reader. Consumers are typically so distracted that they never notice the second swipe. Criminals also use skimmers at gas pumps and ATMs. Experts recommended at the time that consumers always keep their credit cards in sight at cash registers.
They also recommended that people pay inside for gas and fast food, look at card readers closely at gas pumps and ATMs and even tug slightly on readers to make certain that the devices are built-in. Experts in the two years since this news segment have added that consumers should also use chipped cards whenever possible through self-swipe PIN pad devices so that cards are protected with the newer security and never leave cardholder hands.