Skimmer Alert

Be very aware of that machine before you insert your credit card or debit card. 

Who Is It Targeting: Cardholders 

What Is It: A skimming film that has been inserted in a tampered ATM, gas pump, or POS reader 

What Are They After: Skimming is nothing new, and as digital crimes go, it’s not even very high-tech. A skimming film is a thin filament-based plastic that thieves insert into a card reader. When you swipe your card for your legitimate transaction, it withdraws money from your debit account or steals your credit card information. 

It can be hard to tell if a card reader has been tampered with, but there are a few signs. Jiggle the card reader slightly and be aware of any loose parts or rattling noises. In many states, gas pumps now have a sticker over the seam where the door opens; if the sticker isn’t intact, it may have been tampered with by a scammer. 

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Check the card reader for any evidence of tampering before you insert your card and look for the tamper-proof sticker on gas pumps if your state offers them.
  • Try to use ATMs and POS readers that are within plain sight and well-trafficked.
  • Sign up for alerts from your financial institution so you will be informed the second someone uses your card information without permission. 

Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from  CBS Denver.


If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530.

Read next: New IRS Phone Scam

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