Biz Briefs 5/13/18

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 13, 2018

Better Business Bureau warns of credit card “shimming”

CHARLOTTE — Remember skimming? That’s the con where scammers inserted a device into ATMs or other terminals, harvesting your payment information as you swipe your credit or debit card.

Scammers succeeded with this tactic for a while, but skimmers don’t work for cards with newer chip technology. In addition, card skimmers are easy to notice because they are often bulky or wobbly.

Con artists’ new way to steal payment information is called “shimming.”

Scammers insert a shim — a paper-thin, card-sized device with an embedded microchip and flash storage — into the slot where you enter the chip side of your credit or debit card.

When you insert your card at a gas pump, ATM or another card reader, it copies and saves your payment information. Then, scammers return with a special card that collects the stolen information, such as your PIN and card number.

They use this information to make purchases with your account information.

Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to protect yourself from shimming:

Be wary if your card gets stuck in a chip reader.

If the reader seems to have a tighter than normal grip on your card, there could be a shim inside. You may want to cancel your transaction and notify the business.

Keep a close eye on your bank and credit accounts.

“It’s so important to check your online statements regularly to make sure there are no suspicious charges,” says Tom Bartholomy, President of Better Business Bureau Southern Piedmont and Western North Carolina. “If you see any, report them to your bank or credit card company immediately.”

Use contactless payment methods.

Contactless payment methods are not vulnerable to shimming. Try using “tap-and-go” features on your credit card instead of swiping or inserting your card.