How to Detect Card Skimmers Using Your Cell Phone or Mobile Device

How to Detect Card Skimmers Using Your Cell Phone or Mobile Device

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Did you know that your cell phone or mobile device can help protect you from card skimmers at gas stations or ATMs? Yes, this is possible because most credit and debit card skimmers used by criminals use Bluetooth wireless technology to transmit or send stolen card information to a mobile device or computer nearby.

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A Credit or Debit card skimmer is a small device that is used by criminals to capture or steal your credit or debit card information.

How to Detect Card Skimmers Using Your Cell Phone or Mobile Device

  1. Turn on Bluetooth on your cell phone or mobile device.
  2. Search for a device, or on some mobile devices, once Bluetooth is turned on it will automatically search for nearby devices. If your Bluetooth finds nearby available Bluetooth capable devices it will list them.
  3. In the list of nearby Bluetooth devices, if you see a device name that contains a long string of numbers it is more than likely a card skimmer device.

If you are at a gas station you can report your findings to a manager or supervisor. And, if you are at an ATM, do not use it, use another one instead and repeat the steps above. And, if you can, report your findings to the bank that owns the ATM.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances.

Note: Some of the names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers in email samples on this website may have been impersonated.

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  • Feb 12, 2019 at 4:05 PM by an anonymous user from Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas Island, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Can antivirus software detect any types of software skimmers on a desktop?


    • Feb 12, 2019 at 4:08 PM by info

      I think you are talking about spyware. If that is the case, your antivirus can detect and remove spyware.


  • Aug 14, 2017 at 5:34 PM by bsoundog from Humble, Texas, United States

    A friend's credit card was skimmed at a local service station/convenience store recently. More than $700 was charged before she became aware of it. An investigation revealed that at some gas pumps there is a door that can actually be opened and a skimming device placed inside.

    Every number on all credit cards used at that pump is then sent to the skimmer's computer and he/she can then make a credit card using his/her own name or any other name and the charges appear on the statement of person whose number is on the card involved.

    This was learned when authorities were able to trace the stolen numbers to a specific address, where they found card making equipment along with thousands of cards already made and ready for use and lists of thousands more numbers ready to be used.


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