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‘This actually happened to me at a bar’: Man shows how you can get scammed by person with card tap reader machine at bar

‘You just lost money and you had no idea.’


Angela Littlefield


One of the most effective marketing techniques a company can use is showcasing a problem consumers may encounter before promising that one of its products or services will fix it—that, or creating content that goes viral. 

Swipe Skins Inc. (@officialswipeskins), a company that creates custom credit and debit cards for customers, managed to do both. In one of its latest TikTok videos that garnered over 6.7 million views, it demonstrated just how easy it is to get scammed at a bustling place, like a bar, with the promise that a card created by it will prevent that from happening.

In the video, a man shows a regular, plastic card that he puts in his wallet, in his pocket. Another man with a card reader in his pocket “bumps” into the man with the card. A third man holds up a phone that shows how the man with the card just unknowingly gave the man with the card reader $1.

“They put it in their pocket, bump into you,” the text overlay reads. “You just lost money and you had no idea.”

“BE CAREFUL WHO BUMPS INTO YOU,” Swipe Skins warned in the caption. 

@officialswipeskins Replying to @Tesco meal deal BE CAREFUL WHO BUMPS INTO YOU🚨#wefixthis ♬ Suspense, horror, piano and music box – takaya

While this particular video is merely a demonstration, this has happened, according to a comment left by a viewer on an earlier video. “This actually happened to me at a bar and it’s not fun,” that viewer said. 

The video instilled fear in some viewers. “I just checked my account and my $12 is still in there …I got scared for a quick second. I kept getting bumped at the bar last night,” one said. 

In a follow-up video, Swipe Skins shows the same scenario but with a card it designed. The metal seemingly blocks the card reader from charging it. 

It’s unclear how popular of a scam this method is. One of the most common types of credit card scams is card skimming, or when a device is installed at a card reader machine to capture a customer’s card information. We’ve seen a number of TikTokers say they discovered skimmers at places like Walgreens, Shell, Walmart, and 7-Eleven. The FBI claimed that “It is estimated that “skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year” and outlined protective measures one should take when at an ATM, point-of-sale (POS) terminal, or fuel pumps, like going to a gas pump that’s in the eyesight of the attendant or pulling at the keypad’s edges.

The Daily Dot reached out to Swipe Skins via email.

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