In an unsurprising move by credit card thieves, police have found a new credit card skimmer that sends stolen data via SMS. By tearing apart cheap phones, crooks are able to send credit card information to their location instantly without having to access the skimmer physically or rely on an open Bluetooth connection.
Brian Krebs received images of the skimmer from an unnamed source. They were found at a gas station in the Northeast.
This skimmer connected to the internals of the pump and received power from the pump itself, meaning there was no need to worry about the battery failing. It’s unclear how this model worked but most likely it intercepts the credit card data as it’s being swiped. There’s still hope, however, because gas stations are trying to fight back.
“Many filling stations are upgrading their pumps to include more physical security — such as custom locks and security cameras. In addition, newer pumps can accommodate more secure chip-based payment cards that are already in use by all other G20 nations,” wrote Krebs.
He also recommends not using debit cards at all at gas stations and, obviously, protecting your PIN from prying eyes or cameras.