10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Skimmers

credit card skimmers

While using a credit card, you must know all the measures to be taken to protect yourself from the credit card skimmers.

If you are new to this term, then credit card skimmers are illegal devices that easily can be attached to any credit card processing machine or an ATM machine. It will collect the data with the help of the card’s magnetic stripe, and your card information will be stolen and will be used to make any purchases.

Credit card skimmers can be as harmful as it sounds. But there are few ways to protect yourself from them. If you want to know about the same, let us scroll it down and read it right here.


1. Avoid outside ATM

avoid outside atm

If you are out of cash and are searching for an ATM desperately, you must ensure that you do not use any ATM, which is located at a place where you don’t see much crowd.

Simply ignore those ATMs, which looks weird and has no security guards and cameras in it. It is not safe at all.

Always look for an ATM where you see a crowd, or the ATM is located outside of the bank as it will be 100% safe.

If there is no bank around the ATM, then look for some cameras or a security guard at least as these places are safe, and the chances of getting a skimmer installed into a card processor are very low.

RELATED: 10 Credit Card Safety Tips to Help Keep Your Card Safe


2. Always pay inside

always pay inside

In order to save time, people generally make payment at the nearest machine possible so that they can finish it early. However, do not do that. If your card gets skimmed, then saving a few minutes won’t be worthy.

Especially when you are at the petrol pump or any such store, make sure that you step out of your car, walk into the store and pay from the machine inside the store as if you do that, then you are much less likely to encounter a skimmer.


3. Look for signs of tampering

look for signs of tampering

Before making any transaction, you must look for signs of tampering. For doing that, you can simply check the card processing machine before you insert the card.

The trick to finding out if it is safe or not is to check the scratches around the opening of the machine. If you find the scratches, then yes, it is unsafe, and it has tampered. Other than this, if you find some odd plastic which doesn’t look like it fits, then too, it isn’t advisable to use that machine.

In short, if you see any loose or moving part in the machine, then there is something wrong with it, and you must not use it.


4. Never share your card PIN

never share your card pin

Your card PIN is confidential. You must not share it with anyone, including your friends and relatives. It is something that is meant to be confidential.

Some people find it hard to remember the PIN, and hence, they write it down at someplace and keep it. Do not do that. It is highly unsafe, and if you are following the note in your wallet, then you need to stop doing it.

RELATED: 10 Tips to Better Password Security (25 Worst Passwords)


5. Always hide your card PIN

always hide your card pin

When you are at ATM or at any such place where you are required to enter your PIN, then make sure that nobody is watching you do that. If you are in an ATM, then wait for your turn and do not let anyone come, including the security guard, until you make the transaction.

Or, if you are at a store, then try covering the keypad with your hand so that you can keep your PIN secured with you. Make sure to cover it even if nobody is around as it will keep your card safe from cameras which can record your activity.


6. Put a card withdrawal limit

put a card withdrawal limit

Many credit card issuers allow their users to put a limit on how much money they can withdraw in one single transaction or in 24 hours. If your bank allows you to do that, then please put a limit to be extra careful.

If you do that, only the specified limit amount can be withdrawn, and if someone tries withdrawing more, your bank will get notified, and you can stop the fraudulent activity there itself.


7. Do not use cards at non-recognized stores

do not use cards at non recognized stores

If you are buying something from a store that is at an odd place like a highway or a non-established brand, then you must not go cashless there.

You must not use your credit card to make the payment at such stores because they might be involved in skimming, and hence, it is recommended to pay them cash or else, you can make an online payment too through your wallet or bank directly.


8. Keep an eye on your bank statement

keep an eye on your bank statement

To ensure you are safe from all those skimmers, you must keep an eye on your bank statements regularly. You must check all the transactions manually every month to check whether it is done by you or not.

By keeping a good check on your accounts will save you from the skimmers and frauds. If you ever notice some transaction that is not made by you, then you must report it to your credit card issuer immediately.


9. Check for the card reader

check for the card reader

If you have already ensured about the location, the next thing you must do is to check out the card reader.

For this, you must see the area around the card reader and see if there is any hidden camera that can record your PIN. It can be near the keypad or behind the flowers. Make sure to roll your eyeball and check.

Also, look for the card reader and check if it is just like the rest of the card machines you have tried or not. If it is not, do not use it and report it to the guard or manager.


10. Notify your bank if you go abroad

notify your bank if you go abroad

Lastly, if you are planning to go abroad for a long period of time, make sure that you notify your bank about the same because if you do so, your bank can keep an eye on the transactions made by your card and stop them immediately.

If you follow the tips mentioned above, you definitely can save yourself from the credit card skimmers and make a safe transaction with it.

So do follow the tips and let us know if you have more such tips to be shared with us.

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