What You Need to Know About Skimming

How Skimming Can Lead to Identity Theft

All consumers should be aware of a fraudulent and criminal activity called skimming. Identity theft can happen to anyone, and fraudulent activities such as skimming can make you one of the unfortunate victims of identity theft.

What is Skimming?

Skimming is a criminal activity that involves the use of an additional machine at a store where you are making a purchase. A dishonest clerk who is ringing up your purchases will swipe your card at the cash register and then swipe your card through a second machine. The second machine stores the information from your credit card for later retrieval. This information can be used to commit identity theft.

Sad, But True

It seems rather unbelievable that a store employee would be able to bring a second machine into work, set it up, and use it during his or her shift to steal the information from customers’ credit cards especially because security cameras are so prevalent. Nevertheless, skimming has happened in the past, and if you use credit or debit cards, you definitely need to know about skimming.

No matter how unlikely it seems that skimming will happen at the department stores you enjoy shopping at, you should still remain vigilant. If you ever experience a sales clerk swiping your credit card twice, make sure you question this practice. It is also recommended you call over a store manage to inquire about the practice. Hopefully, if something is amiss, the manager isn’t a party to it and will be able to discover that something fraudulent is going on.

Be Wary During the Holidays

Skimming is just one way that identity theft can occur, and you should definitely be mindful of this possibility when Christmas shopping. The stores can get very crowded during the holiday season, and stores usually hire temporary employees. The combination of circumstances that occur during the holiday season can make consumers more vulnerable to skimming and ultimately identity theft.

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