The dreaded card skimmer—a device apparently easy to plant on all variety of card readers and use to lift card information once it’s swiped.

They seem to be most popular at gas stations—judging by the prevalence of that red security tape that’s a relatively new part of a gas station experience. Some people evade the risk of an unattended card readers entirely by going inside to pay for their gas. Those people are wiser than myself, or perhaps in less of a hurry when they’re buying gas.

Card skimmers are the motivation for covering a pin pad before you enter the number, to avoid the prying eyes of a thief’s camera.

If you google card skimmers, the first result appears to be a sponsored post to “shop card skimmers,” with various devices in prices ranging from $1,200 to $5.76 (probably a scam in itself). On closer inspection, some of the sponsored products purport themselves to be anti-skimmers, skimming detection devices or “ATM replacement parts.” Not so convinced some of these aren’t intended for something more nefarious, but call me paranoid. Then some items are outright marketed as “wholesale skimming atm, 1 piece.” OK then.

Despite card skimming’s infamous reputation and the viral videos of people discovering skimmers in the checkout lane or at the gas pump, physical card skimmers appear to be on the decline, according to reporting last year from PC Mag. (Do you have someone in your life who sends videos and articles of people discovering scams and frauds and schemes to separate people from their money? Mine is my dad, naturally.)

Card skimming is on my mind this week because I recently had some card information stolen. Fortunately, most banks are quick to notice unusual purchases and shut down fraud—mine included.

I have my suspicions about where my card information was stolen, because the machine behaved irregularly, but it is hard to know definitively. There are so many places—physical and virtual—that plastic is used to pay. Paper money just isn’t as popular—perhaps because purchases feel more real when you use cash to make them—and while checks are not extinct, they are on the decline.

Card information can be stolen at an ATM, a gas station, in a checkout line (less likely than an unattended card reader), or somewhere in the virtual world, where card info is entered for everything from pizza purchases to streaming services to Christmas shopping.

As card skimming technology advances, so too does fraud detection technology, and then I suppose the skimmers get even savvier. The march of progress. She is fast, huh?

I’m just glad my bank noticed the fraudulent purchase immediately, and I will certainly keep a close eye on the next card reader I visit.