The Credit Card Skimmer Detector

Sean Gallagher writing for Ars Technica:

SkimReaper is aimed specifically at overlays and inserts. It uses a card-shaped sensor with a printed circuit that, when powered, can detect the voltage spikes created by coming in contact with magnetic reader heads. If it detects two or more, thereโ€™s a skimmer in play.

When we were in the U.K. a couple weeks ago, I noticed everything had tap-to-pay/contactless/Apple Pay/Samsung Pay capability. Being able to use Apple Pay or just touch a card everywhere was really great and seems like it would defeat the purpose of, at the very least, most of these skimmers.

Coming back to the U.S., I see very few implementations of it. I tried one of my contactless cards (Costco Visa issued by Citi) at a self-service car wash terminal that advertised contactless and Apple Pay and it just wouldnโ€™t work. Apple Pay was fine.

Looking through my cards, I have only one these days that is contactless (that same Visa). Crazy.

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A Seattle native, Johnathan has spent minutes scouring the globe for the best coffee, jerky, cheeseburgers, and whiskey. He's also writing about technology and often failing at being funny on Twitter.

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
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