Just about everyone owns a credit card nowadays. And the small plastic cards are powerful; containing all our banking information and funds. It’s no longer enough to just have a PIN number that is difficult to figure out as those in the criminal world have used technology to their advantage.
ATM machines have become the latest way for crooks to easily steal your card data. A device called skimmer is illegally installed on ATM’s while unsuspecting customers insert their card to take cash out. Here is a way to be on the lookout and protect yourself.
#1. Recognize a skimmer.
Insert skimmers are designed to look like a card reader that is installed over the real one. The device records the bank card’s data.
#2. Notice the subtle differences.
This skimmer is larger and thicker than the original.
#3. A card with a chip does not guarantee you are safe.
Chip cards are not as easy to hack, nonetheless, not every machine has been upgraded to use it. Therefore, when the magnetic strip is used it makes you vulnerable to bank theft.
#4. Skimmers still need your PIN.
Thieves also place a tiny camera above the keypad or brochure holder to record you entering the PIN.
#5. The high-end criminals have done away with cameras.
A keypad is set on top of the original one that records all your keystrokes. Extra thick keyboards is an easy way to recognize the ATM machine is compromised.
#6. The devices are meant to go unnoticed.
Everything from the skimmer, camera, and keyboards are meant to ensure your card information is stolen.
#7. Be diligent about protecting your PIN.
This customer’s keystrokes are fully visible if a camera is recording.
#8. The correct way to protect your information.
By covering the keypad with one hand and typing with the other, the camera cannot record your info.
#9. Give the machine a shake.
ATMs are solid, strong machines so if you shake it and feel and hear loose parts, beware of a skimmer attached. Wiggling the card while inserting it can thwart the skimmer without affecting your transaction.
#10. If you are a victim of bank fraud, you may still be able to get your money back.
Be diligent reading all your bank statements. If you report fraud activity within 60 days, banks will return your money.