How to protect your accounts from ‘shimming’

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FISHERS, Ind.(WISH) — If you thought that chip in your credit card protected you from hackers, think again. Scammers are using ‘shimming’ to get around the security measure called ‘shimming.’

Most people had to get new credit cards with safer chips, but as technology advances, so do the scammers.

The shimming scam is similar to the technique hackers used for skimming, with the same dangerous consequences for consumers.

“Shocker. Shocking. Not shocking,” Fishers resident, Christie Pell said with sarcasm.

People like Pell aren’t surprised to hear their credit card information could be up for grabs again. 

Shimming targets the embedded chip in a credit or debit card. Those chips were meant to solve the problem of card skimming.

Tom Gorup, director of security operations at Rook Security, said, “It’s really a narrow window of an attack. They can only use that card in a couple minutes,” he said. “So as many transactions as they can make in a few minute time period. After you insert that card.” 

He explained the scammer’s technique is simple: The person inserts a small device into an ATM or card scanner, and in seconds they have access to your information and money.

The prime targets for this scam are ATMs and gas stations in locations that are not secure. 

However, you might be able to know if you’re getting shimmed. 

“If you go to insert your card into the ATM or point-of-sale (POS) system and it feels kind of tight, and it doesn’t feel right, go ahead and pull it out. Don’t finish that transaction,” Gorup said.  

He recommends to use credit cards rather than debit cards to protect yourself since credit cards are usually insured. He also said consumers can use a tap-and-pay system like Google Wallet or Apple Pay to protect their information.

Fisher resident Matt Dinwiddie said he’s preparing for whatever the hackers come up with next: “Obviously, it makes you concerned for what’s coming next. I’m probably going to have to get another new card. Then six months, I’ll get another new card. Who knows, it will be an endless game of cat-and-mouse.” 

Gorup said the easiest way to protect yourself, though, is to carry cash — and to withdraw that cash inside the banker from a human teller instead of an ATM.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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