With new technology comes new ways people try to skim off the top—or in this case, skim off your card. Credit card skimmers are illegal devices that collect information from a debit or credit card’s magnetic strip. They’re often hidden or made to look like they belong on card processing machines, making it harder to spot them.

Once a skimmer has gathered card information, the info can be used to make illegal purchases. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself (and your money!) against card fraud. Following these helpful tips will help protect you and your information from skimmers:


Stay Informed.

Did you know there are different types of card skimmers? Several methods are used to try to collect your card info. There might be a card reader overlay or a hidden camera. There are also fake faceplates that can go over a keypad or even cover an ATM. Knowing what to look for is the first step.

SCAN the Area.

Yup, you read that right.

  • S: Scan your surroundings. Is it well-lit? Is there an attendant? Is there anything that looks out of place? Just like in school, safety first.
  • C: Check for any tampering. Are any of the panels dented or broken? If so, skip using that machine.
  • A: Assess the card reader. Does it look like the rest of the machine? The colors should match, and no graphics should be misaligned or cut off.
  • N: Nudge the keypad and card reader to see if they move. If they do, don’t use it and report it immediately. Most skimmers are made to be temporary, so they usually have some “give” and can come loose.

Chip Cards are Your Friend.

Chip technology makes it harder for skimmers to get your information. Some skimmers work by intentionally tampering with the chip reader to force you to swipe your card.

Monitor Your Accounts Regularly.

Your best friend is time. The earlier you’re able to catch any suspicious activity on your account, the easier it will be to fix. By keeping an eye on your accounts, you’ll minimize any potential losses. Don’t want to bother logging into your account? Our 2-way fraud text alerts are a perfect way to stay informed! 

Use Extra Security Features.

Stay in control of your cards with Control My Card by KTVAECU®. It’s a free app available to our Members that allows you to quickly turn your KTVAECU® cards ON or OFF for extra security. This way, with just a click of a button, you choose when, where, and how your cards are used. 

Your security is always the top priority, which is why we want to work with you to make sure your information is as safe as possible. Skimming can happen anywhere, from gas stations and grocery stores to ATMs. But just because skimmers are on the rise doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to protect yourself—we’re right there with you working behind the scenes to keep you and your account information safe.