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How to Prevent Credit Card Skimming: A Comprehensive Guide

person inserts chip credit card into payment terminal
Credit card skimmers are an ever-growing threat for retailers and shoppers alike. The total number of debit cards compromised by card skimming increased by 96% in 2023, with more than 315,000 cards impacted, according to FICO

While unfortunately the number of card skimming incidents continues to climb, there are solutions available that merchants can implement to deter skimmers in their stores. 

Options for Preventing Credit Card Skimming

As credit card skimmers have become a more common threat and skimming technology has evolved, the retail industry has developed several innovative methods to prevent credit card skimming. This guide will cover three popular, effective solutions:

  • metal plate/bracket anti-skimmers,
  • 3M adhesive pad anti-skimming solutions,
  • the EasySweep skimmer detector.

We’ll cover each solution in depth below, but you can also take a quick glance at the differences in this handy comparison chart. 

comparison chart for how to prevent credit card skimming. Compares benefits/features of metal brackets, adhesive pads, and EasySweep.

Metal Plate/Bracket Anti-Skimmers

A metal bracket that is connected to the payment terminal to prevent would-be criminals from installing a skimmer on the device was one of the first anti-skimming solutions to the market. These are available in many different styles and can be customized for most payment terminals. 

three different versions of metal plate anti-skimming solutions

Metal plates and brackets are the most permanent option, as they are attached using hardware. It’s best practice for a technician to install them on the payment terminals, making them the most costly option.

Metal plates, brackets, or mounts may be the best solution for you if you’re looking for:

  • A more permanent solution
  • An option that requires minimal effort from your store managers
  • Several different shapes and configurations that can be customized to meet your needs

3M Adhesive Pad Anti-Skimming Solution

Developed here at Level 10, our anti-skimming solution consists of a small piece of foam branded with your logo that is affixed to your payment terminals with a super strong adhesive.

This simple, affordable option can be installed without a technician visit, which helps reduce costs while still serving as an effective skimming deterrent. While the adhesive pads are easy to install, they are quite difficult to remove. We’ve found this to be enough to keep criminals from putting a skimming device over a payment terminal in most cases, as it would take too long and draw too much attention.

Verifone MX Series anti-skimming solution

We currently have adhesive pads available for the following payment terminals and can develop a custom solution for most other popular payment terminals as needed:

  • Verifone MX Series (915 and 925)
  • Verifone M400
  • Ingenico Lane Series (3000, 5000, 7000)

This may be the best solution for you if you’re looking for:

  • A less expensive alternative to the metal bracket
  • An option your store managers can install themselves
  • The ability to put your store logo on the deterrent

If you’d like to try it for yourself, you can request a sample of our anti-skimming solution

EasySweep Skimmer Detector

EasySweep is a solution designed by Target, which is a 3-D printed or fabricated tool that can be inserted into payment terminals to detect whether a skimmer is installed. This handy tool allows in-store staff to quickly test every payment terminal in the store in about 15 minutes. It is simple to use – if the tool is able to be inserted fully into the payment terminal, then the terminal is safe. If not, then there may be a skimmer. Any compromised devices can then be removed from the floor and sent for repair or replacement. 

Target EasySweep

As stewards of customer data security, Target has made the 3-D print Step CAD file for EasySweep available for free to other retailers, so you may choose to have the tools printed in-house. Or, if you’d prefer, Level 10 can manage the fabrication for you.

This may be the best option for you if you’re looking for:

  • A solution that doesn’t require anything to be connected to your payment terminals
  • An option your store managers can implement themselves
  • A way to reduce the amount of time your staff spends examining payment terminals for skimmers

Level 10’s Secure Solutions

Level 10 has partnered with several large retailers on all three of these solutions, and our clients have seen reductions in skimmer activity in their stores.

Whatever your needs are and whichever anti-skimming option is best for you, Level 10 can help you develop and deploy a custom solution to keep your technology and your customers safe from credit card skimmers. To learn more about how Level 10 can help you prevent credit card skimming, contact us today. 

Help Me Prevent Card Skimming