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Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Anthony P. Kearns third
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September 2018 - The 'Shimmer Scam' - What it is & How to Protect Against it

Shimmer ScamDoes anyone carry cash around with them these days? It doesn’t seem so. Even those of us who reserve our credit cards for major purchases are quick to pull out our debit cards for small, everyday transactions. It’s convenient and it’s safer . . . or so we thought.

First there was the “skimmer scam” where thieves attached devices onto ATMs and other card readers to skim information from the card’s magnetic strip. Just when we learned how to detect and protect ourselves against skimmers, thieves came up with a new way to steal our information – the “shimmer scam.”

Scammers now are inserting shimmers inside ATMs and card readers, rather than on top of them. Shimmers are paper-thin, card-sized, and almost impossible to detect, making them more dangerous than skimmers. These devices steal and store your payment information from your card’s chip with use of a microchip and flash storage. Your PIN and card number can then be used to make fraudulent purchases.

Fortunately, this scam is not widespread. Chip cards can’t be cloned in the way magnetic strip cards could. The stolen information can be used to produce a traditional magnetic strip card, but these only work at merchants who haven’t adapted to the new chip technology.

Still, you want to take some precautions so that your personal financial information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

  • When possible, use contactless payment methods like the “tap-and-go” feature on your card, or mobile services like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.
  • If you feel resistance when you swipe or insert your card into a card reader, consider cancelling the transaction.
  • Try using an ATM inside a bank rather than a stand-alone machine when withdrawing cash. Better still, go to a teller.
  • Monitor your bank and credit accounts closely and immediately report any suspicious transactions. Be sure to use the customer service number printed on your card so you know you’re not reporting information to an imposter.

With knowledge and a little bit of caution, we can beat the bad guys.

What Our Clients are Saying

I was very proud to be represented by Tony and felt secure at a time I needed a compass to head out of a difficult bind. Confidence in your counsel and a sense of security in understanding how best to proceed are important reasons to consider Anthony Kearns and his team of outstanding lawyers.

- Lynn

Tony was excellent! He was knowledgeable, responsive and on-time. His experience as a County Prosecutor definitely helped our case as he knows how the legal system works and how to navigate. I highly recommend Tony and his office.

- Matt

Thankfully I found Kearns Rotolo Law and I had a wonderful experience working with Charles Rifici on a difficult divorce/child custody issue. I am so grateful for all the work and guidance he provided. He always took his time and diligently went through all my options with me so I could make the decisions that benefitted my family and I. I will be forever thankful for the top notch services he provided.

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In March of 2022 I contacted Kearns Rotolo Law Firm with an urgent problem, Mr. Kearns and Mr. Rotolo contacted me immediately to give me hope as to rectify my problem. The end result was Mr Kearns was able to solve my issue through extreme professionalism, I am very grateful I found Kearns Rotolo Law firm and I would recommend their law firm to anyone that has a less extreme problem or a more complex problem, I am very grateful for their services.

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I met with Mr. Kearns yesterday about a devastating situation affecting our family. Mr. Kearns and his entire staff made us feel extremely comfortable and showed our family a compassionate side that gave us comfort in the most uncomfortable of situations. Thank you very much. God Bless.

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