Skim Reaper Invented by University of Florida Researchers

Nowadays, credit card usage has been increasing, so understanding its basic operation as well as protection is very important while using the card. There is a lot of methods available to protect these cards. To overcome this problem, a few years ago, researchers from the University of Florida invented a device namely the Skim Reaper to detect skimmers.

The demand for this device has extremely high due to security. In 2018, a report was found that report states that 60 million payment cards in the USA were compromised in a year at a point-of-sale device. One day, this kind of fraud was experienced by the inventors. So immediately he invented this device.


The credit card has an inbuilt memory to store our personal data because of changes within the dark strip’s magnetic properties across the summit of the credit card.

When you swipe a credit card in the swiping machine, then an inbuilt component of this machine calls a read head which starts to record the magnetic data. When a skim reaper is used to a swiping machine, it immediately duplicates the information for fraudsters.

The Skim Reaper looks like a card which can swipe through the machine first to record how many read heads can encounter. If it detects a next read head, this mentions that a skimmer is there.

The first sample of the Skim Reaper device is used to detect credit card robbery at point of the machine. Several years ago, when the researchers developed a first Skim Reaper prototype, they have been working to modify it for further process.


The researchers have spent more time by working law enforcement & industry partners for a better understanding of their requirements & to check how this device will act in the field. Because the first prototypes which they have been working to put all of the apparatus over an only card, which includes some mechanical breakdown points & are more modified to utilize cases their partners require. The display of the prototype has removed by the researchers & changed with LEDs to design it clearly for communicating.