How To Use Your Smartphone To Detect Credit Card Skimmers

November 30, 2017

© Roman Milert | Dreamstime

2017 may be the year of the credit card skimmer, which can be an upsetting discovery on your bank statement.  But there is some help that uses the same technology that criminals use.  It all comes down to how skimmers work.  Skimmers copy your credit or debit card information when you slide it in a gas pump, checkout counter or ATM and stores it until it can be downloaded.  The crook will approach the skimmer and using Bluetooth, connect to it and download the stolen info.  But you can also detect skimmers by using the same technology. You can use the Skimmer Scanner app for Android phones, which automatically searches for suspected skimmer Bluetooth identifiers.  Or you can use your phone's Bluetooth screen.  Most skimming devices typically broadcast over Bluetooth with the code HC-05 or a signal with a long list of numbers tied to one signal. By simply looking at your Bluetooth connectivity screen you can see if a skimmer is nearby and at the very least alert law enforcement.  Of course criminals can change the name of the Bluetooth skimmer so it doesn’t show the code HC-05 but it is a tool you can use to protect your banking information!


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