Attorney General Alerts

    Shimming Shocks Chip-Enabled Credit Card Users


    January 16, 2019

    Scammers have found a way to duplicate chip-enabled credit cards, despite the extra safety design associated with the cards. Shimming is a new technique in which scammers insert a paper-thin device into the dip-and-wait slot on card readers. The “shim” is enabled with a microchip and flash storage to copy and save information from the credit or debit card.

    “Credit and debit cards with the chip protect the user’s identity more than the magnetic strips,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “The chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again. Unfortunately, scammers continue to evolve their tactics and can now use the information they obtain from the shim to create a version of the card featuring a magnetic strip, which is still accepted by many retailers, especially online.”

    Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to avoid falling victim to shimming:

    · Utilize contactless tap-and-go feature on your credit or debit cards instead of “dip and wait” card slots on ATMs and gas pumps.

    · When utilizing a card at the gas pump, use a credit card instead of a debit card as credit cards are not tied to a bank account.

    · When using an ATM, be sure to cover the keypad when entering the PIN.

    · Avoid outdoor ATMs, and either see a bank teller, utilize an indoor ATM or ask for cash back on a purchase in order to obtain cash.

    If consumers believe that their card number has been shimmed, contact the card issuer immediately, monitor accounts to watch for fraudulent charges and consider checking credit reports to watch for new inquiries, high balances or new accounts.

    For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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