Nifty!  Turns out a cellphone can do more than just let you text and play PokemonGo.  It also protects your credit and debit cards from skimmers!

That’s such welcome news considering identity theft continues to grow into a larger problem each year.  Besides, no one likes waking up one morning to an annihilated bank account.

We all worry about our information falling into the wrong hands.  Thieves continue to get craftier and keep discovering new ways to hack ATM machines and gas pumps.  Everyone knows at least one person who had their money stolen that way.

Now, the tables have turned.   NBC Connecticut found out how we can fight back.  Sure, most cards come embedded with chip technology, which makes it harder for skimmers to snatch your information.  But, we shouldn’t rely on that alone.

So, that’s where your cellphone comes in.  Since most card skimmers rely on Bluetooth technology to transmit your information to undesirables, you can use that against them.  Before fueling up or withdrawing cash, turn your cellphone’s Bluetooth on to see if it picks up on anything.

If you see a long string of numbers attempting to connect, take it as a bad sign and walk away.

And, no, cellphones won’t emit enough static electricity to cause the gas pump to burst into a fiery holocaust.  The MythBusters debunked that misconception back in their first season!

Also, you can do more than rely on your cellphone to keep you safe.   Typically, thieves tamper with gas pumps the furthest away from the station since the clerk may be too far away to see them.  So, the closer to the gas station, the safer you are.

Secondly, thanks to tamper seals adorning every gas pump, seeing a broken one alerts you that it’s compromised.

You can also check the credit card reader at the gas pump or ATM.  If it’s loose, it’s no good.

But, if you aren’t comfortable using the outside card readers, you can always pay or withdraw cash inside where it is, statistically, the safest.  To some people, the walk inside is worth the calories.

Lastly, always print a receipt.  If you find that someone managed to snatch your information, you’ll need that receipt to file a claim.

Still, the best way is by using Bluetooth.  That remains the number 1 way skimmers transmit information.

Law enforcement says the use of card skimmers continues to skyrocket, so this problem will only get worse.  So, you have to do your part to keep your information and money safe.  Police already found skimmers in several remote Connecticut towns, so it’s foolish to think it can’t happen where you live.

Because, you know it’s only a matter of time before thieves find a way to work around chip technology.  You know, since they have nothing better to do and stealing money is kinda their job.

Anyways, here’s an instructional video on how to keep your information safe from card skimmers.

 

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