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Johnathan.org • A technology blog produced by Johnathan Lyman covering a variety of tutorials, thoughts, and commentary on all of the technology around us.

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, there’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 wouldn’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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