7 On Your Side: How to protect yourself against 'shimming'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- We've heard of skimming, a way thieves steal your personal information at the ATM.

Now you need to protect yourself against shimming.

Every swipe of your card and every purchase puts you at risk of having your bank info stolen.

"I had no idea that it happened, no idea what it was or how it occurred," said consumer Ryan Barrett.

He is just one of many who has had his plastic hacked. It happened last month. The latest and greatest scheme is called shimming.

"Once people have caught on to skimming, now the crooks are trying shimming instead because they're much more undetectable," said Leah Napoliello, Senior Director of Investigative Services for the Better Business Bureau.

The trend is going nationwide. Shimming tools are typically thin, go inside the card reader and don't break any seals.

Despite consumers being more vulnerable than ever, there are ways to be proactive and watch for red flags.

"So if you're inserting your card into a card reader and you notice that it's getting stuck. You try to pull it out or you put it in - it's sticking for some reason, that could be a big warning sign right there that a shimming device is inside that card reader," said Napoliello.. "So if you notice that, notify the business or the bank, wherever you happened to be using that card reader, that you experienced that problem."

According to FICO, the number of compromised ATMs and point of sale devices rose 8 percent in 2017. Barrett says he isn't going to live in fear but does plan to stay alert.

"Now that I know about it, be aware and pay really close attention to charges and things like that," he said.


Do you have an issue with a company that you haven't been able to resolve? If so, 7 On Your Side wants to help you!

Send us your questions, issues, and story ideas to Nina by filling out the form above, by emailing 7OnYourSideNina@abc.com, or contact Nina on her Facebook page or tweet her at Twitter @7OnYourSideNY! You can also call the 7 On Your Side Hotline at 917-260-7697.

If using the app, click here to send us a news tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.