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How to spot a card skimmer

| Crime and security

Criminals are providing waiters and shop assistants with handheld skimming devices which look like the real thing – here is how to spot them.

Card skimming remains a big problem in South Africa, with many people falling victim to criminals skimming their bank cards to steal money.

Card skimming can take place at many locations, including ATMs and merchant points of payment, using devices which have been tampered with.

Personnel working at restaurants and shops, such as waiters and cashiers, are often provided with handheld skimming devices by card fraud perpetrators.

These handheld skimming devices often resemble the real thing, with only small differences noticeable.

To avoid falling victim to card skimming, it helps to know the difference between a real point-of-sales device and a skimmer.

First Calgary Financial has simple advice: if you cannot insert your chip card with your thumb pointed at the device and have your thumb remain fully on your card, do not enter your PIN.

The graphic below shows how to spot a point-of-sale card skimming device. Thanks to Krebs on Security for the information.

How to spot a card skimmer


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