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Detect hidden credit card skimmers with this smartphone trick

Before you head out of the house today, make sure you read this. Hackers are remotely stealing money from people just like you.

It’s happening a lot more these days, notably with credit card skimmers and debit card skimmers. Here’s how it works: Criminals cleverly place a phony card reader on top of a real one.

It could fit over an ATM or a point-of-purchase card reader, like the ones you use to pay for groceries or gasoline. The fake skimmers are so small that it’s hard to tell they’re even there.

If you insert your payment card into the phony reader, the hacker will steal your card number and PIN. They don’t even need to be close to you to steal your information and money.

We’ve been telling you how to spot these card skimmers. Be sure to look at payment card readers before you use them. If the plastic looks too big, doesn’t fit well or just looks strange, do not use it.

Now, we’ve got an even better way to find credit card skimmers. The best news is, you’re already carrying the device you need to detect credit card skimmers in your pocket: your cellphone.

Bonus: Fingerprint protection for credit cards? This could be a game changer

Spot a Credit Card Skimmer

Here’s what to do: Before you insert your payment card into a POS, particularly at gas stations, turn on your cellphone. Then, turn on your phone’s wireless Bluetooth connection.

You can usually turn that on by swiping down on your touchscreen. Look for the blue Bluetooth logo below.

Make sure Bluetooth is turned on. Security experts warn that it could be a credit card skimmer if you see a long, strange number trying to connect to your Bluetooth.


“That will give you an idea that maybe something is not right,” professional hacker Jon Waldman told WKBN 27 news in Youngstown, Ohio.

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