Shimming: A new way to steal your information

Shimming: A new way to steal your information
'Shimming' is similar to 'skimming,' and will become more popular for thieves in 2019, an FBI official says.

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Thought your chip credit cards were safe from scammers? Think again.

Warnings are circulating about a new way of obtaining your information: Shimming.

"And that's what we're seeing. No matter what sort of technology we come up with to block identity theft and financial theft, the scammers are working on newer technology to go around it," said David Smitherman, President of the Better Business Bureau of Central and South Alabama.

In the case of shimming, that means scammers inserting a paper-thin, card-sized shim into a card payment slot.

"It has a special device that can download the actual data from the chip. Now they can't make another chip card from this, but they can make a regular card by importing that data onto a magnetic strip," said Smitherman.

Once the scammer has your card information they can make purchases.

Also keep in mind, shimmers are potentially easier to hide than skimmers (the device used to steal information from the magnetic strip on your card).

“It’s less bulky, less noticeable, but it does the job,” said Smitherman.

Shimming? Skimming? It sounds confusing, but remember those chip cards are not invisible to hackers like we once thought.

"You always need to be very vigilant, as to where you are in a transaction. What the environment looks like, to do everything you can to protect yourself," said Smitherman.

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