Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Card Skimming Is On The Rise — Here's How To Prevent Your Information From Being Stolen Debit card skimming increased by 368% in 2022 compared to the year prior.

By Madeline Garfinkle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Lari Bat | Getty Images

Card skimming is the practice where devices are installed on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or fuel pumps to capture data or record cardholders' PINs to open fake accounts and steal victims' funds.

According to the FBI, skimming costs victims and banks nearly $1 billion annually – and the practice is on the rise.

A new report from data analytics company FICO (the company's "FICO score" product is used in consumer lending) found that, in 2022, there was an alarming 368% increase in debit card skimming compared to 2021.

"These statistics point to an issue that isn't going away," Debbie Cobb, senior director of product management at FICO, wrote in the report. "Unfortunately, we expect to see high volumes of skimming points of compromise (POCs) and compromised cards this year as well."

The data also found that, of all the points of compromise, 75% were newly installed in 2022, indicating that skimming has expanded over the past year and that trend is likely to continue.

A former "skimmer," Michael Perez, told CBS that in just three days of skimming he could steal up to $30,000.

Related: 5 Biggest Credit Card Scams and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

Moneka Williams, a victim of skimming in South Florida, told the outlet that her SNAP card — a federal program that offers individuals in need a monthly amount to purchase necessities — had been compromised.

"I told the clerk to scan it again, and it was a zero balance," she told CBS. Skimmers had drained her $800 balance.

While card skimming continues to sweep the nation, there are several ways to try to prevent it:

  • The FBI suggests using a gas pump that is in direct view of a store attendant, as those sites are less likely to be targeted for fraudsters to install a skimmer.
  • When using ATMs or POS terminals, look for anything suspicious on the machine and don't use if anything is loose, crooked, damaged, or scratched.
  • Run your debit card as a credit card, as skimmers won't be able to collect your PIN. If not possible, cover the keypad when entering your pin to prevent hidden cameras from recording the digits.

Related: 10 Credit Card Scams Happening Right Now

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

TikTok Reportedly Laid Off a 'Large Percentage' of Employees as the App's Fate in the U.S. Remains Unclear

Laid-off TikTok employees were notified Wednesday night through Thursday morning.

Business News

Four Seasons Orlando Responds to Viral TikTok: 'There's Something Here For All Ages'

The video has amassed over 45.4 million views on TikTok.

Business News

More People Are Exploring Entrepreneurship Because of This Unexpected Reason

More new business applications were filed in 2023 than in any other year so far.

Personal Finance

This Investment Bundle Includes a Trading Course and Stock Screener Tool for $150

Approach the stock market with an increased understanding.

Growing a Business

5 Strategies to Know As You Scale Your Business

Scaling a service-based company requires a comprehensive approach that goes beyond simply increasing revenue. It requires careful planning, strategic decision-making and a deep understanding of market dynamics.