BBB warns of new scam called 'shimming'

BBB warns of new scam called 'shimming'

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Cybercriminals are back at it with a new scam.

You may remember the term 'skimming', that's when scammers attempt to steal personal information using a device inserted inside or outside of card readers like at an ATM or gas pump.

Experts say there's now a new and improved version called 'shimming'.

Angela Guth, President, and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Lake Charles says scammers will insert a paper thin, card sized device with a microchip into the slot you enter the chip side of your credit or debit card into.

"What happens at that point is that the next person who goes up to the gas pump or the ATM and inserts their card has their pin number captured, their account number captured and that's where the fraud begins," Guth said. "They have gotten smarter our people out there who are trying to fraud the system."

Guth said consumers will need to be vigilant.

"As a consumer, if you put your card into the card slot and it feels really tight, like it's not going in like it would normally, that should be a red flag for you," Guth said. "I would recommend for everyone to watch your checking account, credit card statements for unauthorized activity and in case that does happen, you need to report it to your bank immediately."

Here are some tips to protect yourself from the Better Business Bureau:

  • class="x_MsoNormal" style="line-height:200%">Be wary if your card gets stuck in a chip reader. If the reader seems to have a tighter than normal grip on your card, there could be a shim inside. You may want to cancel your transaction and notify the business.
  • class="x_MsoNormal" style="line-height:200%">Go inside to a teller to withdraw cash at a bank.
  • class="x_MsoNormal" style="line-height:200%">Use ATMs in banks rather than more vulnerable stand-alone machines.
  • class="x_MsoNormal" style="line-height:200%">Cover the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN.
  • class="x_MsoNormal" style="line-height:200%">Don’t proceed with a transaction if your card encounters resistance when it is inserted.
  • class="x_MsoNormal" style="line-height:200%">Start with Trust®. Call 981-3497 24 hours a day.  If you've fallen victim to this type of scam, help others avoid being scammed by filing a report with Learn more about specific kinds of scams and how to avoid them at

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