There are some ways consumers can avoid becoming a victim of credit card skimmers. They are:
- Check for devices, called overlays, that identity thieves put over existing card readers. Most are secured by tape. Try to wiggle or pull on the reader before swiping your card. If it moves or comes off, it's most likely a skimmer overlay.
- Check for damage to or foreign objects inside the reader.
- Check for a security seal on the gas pump. If they're present and have been tampered with, they will turn void.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card. If you must use a debit card, run the card as credit.
- If you must use a pin code, cover the pin pad with your other hand while you enter it. Thieves sometimes place cameras inside card readers to obtain your pin information.
- Pay inside instead of at the pump.
- Monitor your credit and bank accounts on a regular basis.
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