Worried About Credit Card Skimming Devices? This App Can Detect Them


Scammers don’t need to physically steal your credit or debit card to rip you off. Small devices implanted in card readers, known as skimmers, can put your card information in the hands of nefarious actors without you even noticing. But while the devices can be hard to spot, there’s a new way to protect yourself against them. An app called Skimmer Scanner can help identify if there’s a skimmer nearby, as the credit card blog The Points Guy reports.

Credit card skimmers are especially prevalent at gas pumps, many of which haven’t been updated with more secure chip technology. Skimmer Scanner is designed to be used before you fuel up, allowing you to see if you’re going to be paying for more than just the price of gas.

Two screenshots from Skimmer Scanner read 'Scanning' and 'No skimmer found.'
Skimmer Scanner

You just open the app before you stick your card in, and hold your phone near the pump. Skimmer Scanner uses Bluetooth technology to detect whether a skimmer device is working within the pump’s card reader. If you get a positive hit, you should alert the attendant and local authorities, and fuel up elsewhere.

The app does come with some caveats, though. According to the developers, “Using this app may authenticate your Android device to illegally installed skimmers. Please check your local laws before installing this product.” And just because there’s no skimmer detected doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to be safe using that machine. “There's always a risk to sticking your card in a strange machine,” they note.

The app is available for Android on Google Play. According to The Points Guy, the company is currently working on an iPhone version.

[h/t The Points Guy]

America's Divorce Rate is Declining—and We Have Millennials to Thank for It


Millennials are reportedly killing off yet another cultural mainstay, but this time, it may be a good thing. According to Bloomberg, divorce rates are going down, thanks to the commitment powers of younger generations.

Between 2008 and 2016, the divorce rate in the U.S. dropped by 18 percent, according to a new analysis of data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Controlling for related factors like age (older people are less likely to get divorced than younger couples), the rate still dropped by 8 percent. By contrast, Baby Boomers have consistently divorced at higher rates than previous generations.

Many declines that Millennials are blamed for—like rates of homeownership or having kids—can actually be attributed to the dismal finances of a generation that came of age in a recession, is saddled with crushing student debt, and faces high costs of living and low wage growth. Divorces can be expensive, too. Yet several trends point to a higher likelihood of marriage stability for the Millennial generation that has nothing to do with finances. On average, Millennials are marrying later in life, and spending more time dating partners prior to marriage than earlier generations, both of which correlate with a lower chance of divorce, according to social scientists.

“The U.S. is progressing toward a system in which marriage is rarer, and more stable, than it was in the past,” author Philip Cohen writes in the paper.

Sorry, law school students, but it looks like being a divorce lawyer is going to get a little less lucrative in the future.

[h/t Bloomberg]

Tune in Tonight: Mental Floss on Jeopardy!

All that time you've spent on here is about to pay off.

Tune in tonight for Jeopardy! and you'll catch the debut of the "I Learned It From Mental Floss" category. Big bucket list moment for us.

We've been working closely with the Jeopardy! team over on Instagram, sharing amazing facts on both @jeopardy and @mental_floss. Study up!

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