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Protect Yourself and Your Customers from Skimmer Fraud

Credit card scammers operate year round, but with summer vacationers on the move, credit card fraud is also on the uptick, meaning now is the time to be extra vigilant to protect both yourself and your customers. One

Skimmer fraud is often perpetrated by organized crime syndicates, but any tech savvy criminal can pose a threat to your business or customers. Primarily if your business or any business you frequent uses unattended payment kiosks, you are a prime target for skimmer fraud. Fortunately, credit card processing for small business does not need to be fraught with peril. There are easy steps you can take steps to mitigate the risk of skimmer fraud.

What are skimmers?

Skimmers have been around for years and can assume many forms, but they are generally small devices that criminals either attach to or insert into card readers to steal credit card information while the customer is swiping their card. The skimmers typically use bluetooth technology to capture and wirelessly relay credit card numbers and information to nearby devices.

Historically, criminals have commonly targeted gas station pumps and atms. The skimmers might be placed into, adjacent to, or even over the card reader slot. In other cases, criminals have been known to affix their own keyboards over payment terminals. Take notice of any oddities present on payment terminals. Do the keys looks unusual? Do there appear to be discrepancies between two machines of the same make? Check to see if you can spot any devices that have been inserted into or over the card reader slot. Does anything feel off or loose? It may seem outlandish that this kind of theft can occur with our current technology, but in the age of cheap 3D printers, it’s becoming easier to make convincing reproductions of terminals.

Skimmer Scanner

A visual inspection of payments kiosks may not be enough to detect skimmers. At gas stations it is common for thieves to open up the gas pumps and place skimmers inside the machine. Experienced criminals can pry open machines in a matter of seconds. Some gas stations place seals or stickers over machine hatches. Broken or absent seals may indicate possible fraud.

Because the skimmers generally use bluetooth, some applications can use your cellphone to detect malevolent devices inside the payment kiosk. One such app, Skimmer Scanner, is available for free on android and has been used successfully to detect skimmers nationwide.

Physical Security

As a business owner, do not neglect the value of physical security measures. Consider keeping payment terminals in highly visible places and or within easy access of store personnel. Limiting the ability of criminals to access machines unsupervised will hinder their opportunities to surreptitiously place skimmers.

With more and more transactions conducted by card, preventing fraud is a top priority. There is also a resurgence of second-generation payment kiosks that open up the chance of skimmer theft. At Moolah, we are dedicated to helping you succeed by providing secure credit card processing for small business. No matter what type of payment terminal you use, we’re committed to working together with you to keep your customers’ payment information safe.