Shimming is the new skimming

Shimming is the new skimming

The new credit card chips make it harder for scammers to steal your payment information, so con artists have created a different technique called "shimming."

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 awhile, 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 cart.

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.

Keep a close eye on your bank and credit accounts. Check your online statements regularly to make sure there are no suspicious charges. If you see any, report them to your bank or credit card company immediately. Use the customer service number on the back of the card to be sure you are reaching the real company and not an imposter.

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.

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.

Read more about credit card scams at If you've fallen victim to this type of scam, help others avoid being scammed by filing a report with

Visit or call 330-454-9401 to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam with Scam Tracker, read tips, follow us on social media and more.

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