Security & Fraud

New App Detects ATM Skimmers At The Pump


Sparkfun has created a new app that gives off alarms if a skimmer is nearby at a gas station. The app, dubbed Skimmer Scanner, looks for the Bluetooth transmissions, talks to the source and determines whether it is a skimmer or not, reported Forbes. If the app detects questionable behavior, it will send an alert to your smartphone.

The company behind the app, noted the article, has worked with law enforcement agencies and has a deep understanding of how skimmers behave. Skimmer Scanner works on skimmers installed at the gas pump, and the app can be downloaded at the Google Play store. There isn’t an iOS version as of yet, noted the report.

The new app comes at a time when gas station-installed skimmers are growing in popularity among hackers. According to media reports earlier this summer, police have discovered a new credit card skimmer that connects to the inside of a gas station pump and is able to send stolen data via SMS. According to Tech Crunch, thieves tear apart cheap phones and send credit card information to their locations instantly without having to physically access the skimmer or rely on an open Bluetooth connection.

Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security received images of the skimmer – found at a gas station in the Northeast – from an unnamed source. The credit card reader was connected to the internals of the pump and received power from the pump itself, so there was no worry about battery failure.

“The beauty of the GSM-based skimmer is that it can transmit stolen card data wirelessly via text message, meaning thieves can receive real-time transmissions of the card data anywhere in the world – never needing to return to the scene of the crime. That data can then be turned into counterfeit physical copies of the cards,” Krebs wrote.


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