Shimmers: New ATM Fraud Scam

Jun 05, 2019 Safety & Security

With chip cards becoming more common, hackers are developing a new way to steal information by inserting a smaller device into card readers.

A person entering a credit card number into a phone. They are also drinking a coffee.

Hackers are becoming smarter as we develop new technology and they’re always finding new ways to steal personal information. The latest development? Figuring out how they can steal information off chip cards.

While chip-based cards were designed to stop fraudsters (certain types of card fraud are down 0.33%), they’re now finding ways to save your card information and download it at a later date to clone cards.

Keep reading to learn more about card shimmers and how you can avoid them.

What You Need To Know

We’ve heard of card skimmers, but what are shimmers?

Shimmers are much smaller than a skimmer and can be inserted into an ATM or Point of Sale (POS) card reader slot. Hackers place these devices by carefully placing them over the opening of the card slot and sliding them with their own card. Unlike skimmers, you likely won’t be able to detect when one is present, because they are so discreet.

How can I avoid shimmers?

Contactless payments, like through Apple Pay® and Google Pay™, are smart ways to pay. They’re becoming increasingly popular at retailers and allow you to avoid inserting your card.

Always check for tampering on the machine. If anything looks suspicious or out of the ordinary, either with the card reader or your surroundings, don’t use it. Wiggle everything on the ATM or card reader; if anything is loose, that’s a good indicator that someone has tampered with it.

Avoid stand-alone ATMs if possible. Hackers feel more comfortable approaching those because someone won’t necessarily be watching them. Try to get cash from inside your financial institution, either with a teller or at an ATM inside the lobby.

If you have any questions or think you might be a victim of fraud, call our Contact Center at 512.302.6800 or visit one of our branch locations.

Apple, the Apple logo, and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Apple Pay and Touch ID are trademarks of Apple Inc. ©2019 Google LLC All rights reserved. Google Pay is a trademark of Google LLC.

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