12 Scams of Christmas: Credit card skimmers

12 Scams of Christmas: Credit card skimmers

It's a devious little device thieves plant inside credit card readers.

“They grab your card, they run it through this small device called a skimmer, they get all the information off of it and they're off to the races,” warned author of Identity Theft Alert Steve Weisman.

Weisman said it's tough to detect if a credit card reader is bugged with a skimmer, but dipping your chip card is always safer than swiping.

“Anytime you're using your card as a chip, you're much safer than if you're using it as a magnetic strip card,” he said.

Weisman also warned: don't shop with debit.

Your credit card company will reimburse you if your card gets hacked by a skimmer. Your bank may not.

“If your debit card gets breached, if there's someone that gets the number on that, if you don't report the liability promptly, you could lose the entire bank account to which the card is attached,” saidWeisman.

Weisman said it’s also important to stay on top of your statements. Don’t wait for a monthly bill. Monitor your accounts online.

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