In the above picture, on the left you see a brand-new credit/debit card for gas pumps. On the right is the same device with a card-skimming device placed in the conveniently empty slot. How can consumers avoid having their card information skimmed by crooks using similar devices? You probably won’t even know until the fraudulent purchases hit your account.
We’ve described ways to spot an ATM skimmer before: check to see if the card reader comes loose when you pull it. See if the PIN pad wiggles. Check for tiny hidden cameras. Look for parts that don’t quite match the rest of the machine in color or materials. When the skimmer is entirely inside the card reader, these tips are useless.
Unless the scammers have pasted on their own PIN pad, devices like this make it impossible for customers to detect that there could possibly be someone stealing their information. If the station has tamper-proofed its equipment, that helps, but the method isn’t foolproof, especially if you hire fools.
Don’t Get Sucker Pumped [Krebs on Security]