A stealth new skimmer is taking over retail self-checkout terminals. These skimmers are made up of a PIN pad overlay and an extremely thin card skimmer or “shimmer” that’s inserted into chip readers. The skimmer is not visible to customers using these checkout terminals making them extremely harmful to customers. These devices are activated when a customer inserts their card into the chip reader which activates the “shimmer”, and the PIN pad overlay records the customers’ information. In the past, checkout skimmers have been larger and require more components like Bluetooth in order for card information to be recorded. In order to obtain card information from the skimmers, thieves go to the marked checkout terminals and use a white smart card to receive all of the stolen data.
While financial institutions in the U.S. have made it impossible for chip cards to be cloned, thieves are still finding weaknesses within the cards’ security design. Many ATMs across the country are still not as secure as they should be due to the expensive cost and skimmers are benefiting from this flaw. Unless ATM’s and chip cards improve their security flaws, thieves will continue to steal private financial information from consumers.
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