Put a Freeze on Card Skimming

December 18, 2023

Terms like phishing and skimming aren’t only common in the ice shanty, they are also examples of cleaver methods scammers use to steal your personal information or your money. Understand these basics so you don’t end up left in the cold.
What is Card Skimming? When a bogus card reader is added on top of the real reader with the intention of intercepting card data from a merchant terminal, ATM, or any other card reader device. A hidden camera may be installed on or near the ATM to record PINs as they are entered. The criminals can combine the PINs with the card data to make purchases or withdrawals.
It’s your money on the line, so learn these three ways to freeze out would-be criminals and keep yourself from becoming the catch of the day.
Give it a Jiggle. Check the card reader for tampering, if you are suspicious, go to another machine.
  • Grab the card reader and give it a firm shake.
  • Inspect it for an odd protrusion, new scratches, discolored keys, or off-color components.
Tip Up. Be aware of your surroundings and follow basic card security practices:
  • Look around to ensure no cameras are capturing your PIN and shield the keypad as you enter it.
  • Stay away from devices not publicly visible or in poorly lit areas.
  • Use the same ATM to help you notice changes more easily.
  • If you suspect an ATM is compromised, notify the bank immediately.
Keep a Lookout. As always, monitor your accounts and report anything suspicious.
  • Set real-time alerts that will trigger a text message anytime money is withdrawn from your account.
  • Turn your card ON and OFF based on your spending habits using your mobile banking app.
  • Review your account activity online regularly.
Though fraudsters continue to develop more creative ways of committing financial crimes, the best defense is to be cautious and educate yourself, so you don’t take the bait… hook, line, and sinker.