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New scam called ‘shimming’ targets your credit or debit card chip

There’s a new technique that thieves are using to steal your credit and debit card information.

It’s called shimming and it targets those who use cards that have a microchip on it.

Credit or debit cards with the embedded chips on them were released as a response to the credit card scam known as skimming.

Skimming is a technique in which thieves would place false fronts to outdoor ATM and gas pump terminals to steal the details off of a card’s magnetic stripe.

It only worked when customers would swipe their card, so the chips were put on credit cards to get customers to stop swiping their cards and instead insert the card into a chip reader machine.

The chip credit cards were meant to keep a customers information secure, but now credit card scammers have a figured out a way around it.

Through shimming, scammers secretly insert a shimmer, a paper-thin, card-size shim containing an embedded microchip and flash into the card slot.

When a customer inserts their card into the machine, their information is stolen and then stored on that microchip already in the machine.

It’s also harder to find those responsible for placing the shim in the machine because when scammers return to collect the shim, they appear to be doing nothing more than completing a transaction.

Mary Beth Stevens, President of the El Paso Better Business Bureau, says cases of shimming hasn’t reached El Paso yet, but there have been cases in other Texas cities like Dallas and Houston.

“They (scammers) have just caught up,” Stevens said. “We’ve got to keep one step ahead, so there are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself.”

Stevens suggests to be more proactive about checking your credit card and bank statements.

If you see any questionable purchases, notify the credit card company or your bank immediately.

There is also one telltale sign to look for when inserting your card during a purchase.

If you notice any resistance when inserting the card into the machine, that’s a good indication that the machine could have possibly been tampered with.

“If it’s stuck, it shouldn’t be,” Stevens said. “Take that as a note and let the merchant know, either don’t move forward with the transaction or at the very minimum make sure you check your statements the next day.”

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