This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Keeping your credit card information secure is a hot topic, especially during the busy holiday travel season. As travelers take to the roads to get to their destinations, credit card skimmers are increasingly becoming a problem, frequently encountered at gas station pumps.

But, if you have an Android phone, you now have an easier way to detect if the gas pump you’re about to insert your credit card into has a skimmer implanted in it. The app, called Skimmer Scanner, from SparkX, works by detecting if there are certain Bluetooth transmissions located close to your phone. It’s those select Bluetooth transmissions that are used to transmit your credit card information from the scanner to the crooks.

The Skimmer Scanner app is free to download from Google Play. Once you’ve downloaded it, open it the next time you go to refill your tank. According to the app’s developers, it works to broadcast over Bluetooth as HC-05 with a password of 1234. If you’re at a pump, open the app, scan your surroundings (5-15 feet) and see if HC-05 is listed as an available connection. To confirm there’s a skimmer, the app will send the character ‘P’ over a terminal. If it gets an ‘M’ in response, the developers say that the reader has likely been bugged and you should inform your local authorities.

Image by Google Play.
Image by Google Play.

According to Denver’s KDVR, the app has been downloaded more than 90,000 times in the three weeks since it’s been available. Colorado-based SparkX says it wants to offer the app on iPhones soon.

With credit card skimmers now cheaper and easier to install than ever, the Skimmer Scanner app may be a useful addition to your Android phone. The TPG team hasn’t tested it yet, but staff members who own Android phones will use it on the road over the holiday season and will report back.

Featured image by Michael Godek / Getty Images.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.