7-Eleven shopper finds trick to spot hidden card skimmers

@theresastoneinmyboot/TikTok Metro Hopper/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘How did you know?’: 7-Eleven shopper finds trick to spot hidden card skimmers

'I just don’t use my card anywhere anymore.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Mar 17, 2024   Updated on Mar 17, 2024, 3:24 pm CDT

Fraud is all around, and scammers are getting more creative with how and where they steal your information.

In this viral video, a TikToker issued a PSA, showing how credit card skimmers can be anywhere, even your local gas station.

TikTok user Mr. Pete (@theresastoneinmyboot) showed that he was at the gas station, buying some gummy worms, when he noticed the card machine at the register was off. “There’s a credit card skimmer on this,” he told the cashier.

She didn’t seem to be aware, so Pete proceeded to wriggle the machine until the skimmer came right off.

The video has amassed more than 2.2 million views and hundreds of comments since Feb. 28.

Several people in the comments expressed confusion about how a person would even manage to get a skimmer on a device that is constantly attended by a worker.

“To be fair I worked at very small gas station and would be the only person there from 3pm-11 pm and would go in the back to clean and stick so there’s a possibility someone came in for a second and popped that on and then left before she even had a chance to see who came in the store. Where I worked the back room dinger was broken so you would’ve even know when someone came in,” a former gas station employee explained.

@theresastoneinmyboot Check out the full version in Youtube #skimmeralert #skimmer #sandiego #711 #clairemontsandiego #fyp #scam #story #sdnews #abc @NBC San Diego @SD Union-Tribune ♬ original sound – Mr Pete

Credit card skimmers are attachments illegally placed on credit card readers or other places where you swipe or insert your card. Skimmers can be found at retail stores, the gas station, or even an ATM machine.

There are two types of skimmers. Overlay skimmers sit on top of the legitimate card reader, while internal skimmers are placed inside the card reader. Both steal your data—like your card number, expiration date, and cardholder name—which is encoded on the magnetic strip of your card.

This information can be used to make counterfeit card sand make purchases under your name and account, potentially costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars if you fall victim to a skimmer.

To avoid falling prey to one of these scam devices, avoid swiping your card. Instead, use the chip or tap to pay. While skimmers can be adapted to steal data from cards with chips, they’re less common.

If, after reading this, you’re worried that you’ll encounter a skimmer in the wild, here are some things to look out for:

  • The card reader feels loose
  • Your card doesn’t fit properly
  • The keypad on the machine feels off

If you do suspect that you’re dealing with a skimmer, let the business owner or manager know. If it’s an ATM, contact the bank or financial institution that owns it. If you have already used your card on the machine, contact your banker immediately to pause the card and get a new one.

“my local 7/11 has their decorated with rhinestones so they can’t snap on those skimmers lol,” the top comment read.

“When I worked at a gas station we had to check each one at least once a shift, even the ones at all the gas pumps,” a person shared.

“I just don’t use my card anywhere anymore. I always use cash and if I don’t have cash I don’t need it. Card pays for bills only. It helps me from over spending too,” another chimed in.

The Daily Dot reached out to Pete via TikTok direct message.

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*First Published: Mar 17, 2024, 6:00 pm CDT