Protecting Yourself From Skimmers

Thread Starter

Brownout

Joined Jan 10, 2012
2,390
Once upon a time, skimmers that steal credit card information attached to gas pumps were easy to detect. They were attached to the slot where the card is inserted. But more these days, I'm hearing about thieves who actually open up the pump and attach their skimmers inside, out of sight. This often goes unnoticed by the operator. Recently, a pump repair man found one inside a pump in my neighborhood he was servicing.

I always look for the stickers placed across the hinged door which when broken, indicates the pump has been opened by an unauthorized person. But I know that is an insufficient security measure. Besides having a card with purchase protection, what other measures do you know of that effectively protects against theft of credit card information?
 
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dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,314
what other measures do you know of that effectively protects against theft of credit card information?
Credit card issuers are switching to cards with chips that generate a unique code for each transaction; a transaction attempting to use an old code would be denied. Transactions made without using the chip are still at risk.
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
11,538
:confused: I don't see how that unique code idea works. It would prevent the legitimate card owner from making two successive transactions with the card.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,314
The chip generates the unique codes; no user intervention. You're probably already using chip cards in your area. The USA started transitioning a couple years ago and some retailers still don't have the chip readers in place, so the magnetic strip is used. Since the strip contains static data, skimmers will still be a threat. Retailers are switching to chip readers because they'll be liable for fraudulent transactions if they continue to use the magnetic strip.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,399
I use ApplePay where I can, and when I have to use a card I always try to use the "insert" option for my chipped cards instead of the swipe option. I make sure to scowl at any retailer that forces a swipe. They need to upgrade sooner than later.

Didn't we just have a thread like this here somewhere?
 

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
705
from the physical mugger to the high tech mugger. It's already a mugger's paradise.
Here in San Francisco, it's also a car burglar's paradise.

There is at least one car burglary a month on my block. However if you call the cops to report a car break in, they treat it like a 2.5 magnitude earthquake. So I guess 6.0 magnitude would be an armed robbery/assault and an 8.0 would be a murder. o_O
 

jgessling

Joined Jul 31, 2009
82
When I lived in San Francisco if you wanted the cops to respond you never reported a crime because that was too insignificant. But "some one is parked in my driveway" would bring an immediate response, cop and tow truck. Why? Because there's money in it for both the city and the towing company!
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
If everyone dumps credit cards and carry a load cash for all purchases, the place will become a mugger's paradise. :confused:
OMG! How did we survive 50 years ago when everybody carried cash?
I'll tell you: America has never been a muggers paradise and it still isn't.

I think you are just trying to be inflammatory with your regular Threads about non-issues. "I'm such a wimp that I can't protect myself from credit card skimmers. I'm such a wimp that I can't use cash because I'm afraid somebody might mug me." Grow a pair. Be alert. Pay attention to your surroundings. Drive from the bank to the grocery store. Quit believing you are a victim and you won't look like an opportunity waiting to be mugged.

Notice that all categories of property crime in the U.S. have been on a steady decline for the last 25 years.
 

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dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,314
Has anyone here ever been physically mugged or accosted for money?
Beggars in Miami Beach. They cleaned my windshield at stop lights and demanded money or cleaned the wheels on my rental car.

When LAX used to have a gas station at the entrance, it wasn't unusual for someone to ask me for gas money.

Some panhandlers standing at traffic lights have been borderline.
 

JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,325
Stopped by many beggars, some got cash, others didnt.. I was never mugged or robbed at gunpoint.

Had the window washer experience at the traffic lights in NYC.

I did have a friend mugged in the area where I was known to walk at all hours and in various stages of inebriation, after a night of steaming. I guess my friend looked like an easy mark back in the mid 1970s.

Muggers will size you up and do a risk analysis, although I doubt they use that terminology, prior to initiating an action. So, if you look easy, good luck.
 
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wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,399
I had some Rolling Stones tickets stolen from me outside Soldier Field in '78. He said he had a gun, which I doubted then and ever since, but I was in no mood to find out. I was lucky I had another ticket in a different pocket, so at least I got in. Live and learn.
 

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
705
OMG! How did we survive 50 years ago when everybody carried cash?
I'll tell you: America has never been a muggers paradise and it still isn't.

I think you are just trying to be inflammatory with your regular Threads about non-issues. "I'm such a wimp that I can't protect myself from credit card skimmers. I'm such a wimp that I can't use cash because I'm afraid somebody might mug me." Grow a pair. Be alert. Pay attention to your surroundings. Drive from the bank to the grocery store. Quit believing you are a victim and you won't look like an opportunity waiting to be mugged.

Notice that all categories of property crime in the U.S. have been on a steady decline for the last 25 years.
Not so in California.

Any property crime involving $900 or less has been reclassified from a felony (do time in prison) to a misdemeanor (do time in jail or get probation).

Since then, we've seen a virtual smorgasbord of shoplifting, stealing, and car break ins.
 

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
705
Stopped by many beggars, some got cash, others didnt.. I was never mugged or robbed at gunpoint.

Had the window washer experience at the traffic lights in NYC.

I did have a friend mugged in the area where I was known to walk at all hours and in various stages of inebriation, after a night of steaming. I guess my friend looked like an easy mark back in the mid 1970s.

Muggers will size you up and do a risk analysis, although I doubt they use that terminology, prior to initiating an action. So, if you look easy, good luck.
I used to work at night and ride the bus to my job in the subway train control department.

In 25 years, I never got robbed or messed with in any way. I attribute the lack of being a victim to my unusually ugly face. :mad:
 
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