In recent years, card skimming has become an increasingly prevalent form of theft. This type of crime occurs when someone steals your credit or debit card information by installing a device called a skimmer on an ATM or point-of-sale terminal. Skimmers are often difficult to detect, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and take steps to protect yourself from this growing threat. In this blog post, we will discuss what card skimming is, how it works and how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.
What is Card Skimming?
Card skimming is a type of fraud that occurs when someone steals your credit or debit card information by installing a device called a skimmer on an ATM or point-of-sale terminal. Skimmers are often difficult to detect, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and take steps to protect yourself from this growing threat.
How Does Card Skimming Work?
Skimmers are devices that are attached to ATMs or point-of-sale terminals to steal credit or debit card information. These devices can be very difficult to detect, as they often look similar to the genuine components of the machine. The device captures and stores the card’s information when a card is swiped through a skimmer. The thief can then use this information to create a counterfeit card copy and make unauthorized charges.
How Can I Protect Myself from Card Skimming?
You can take several steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim of card skimming: Check for signs of tampering before using an ATM or point-of-sale terminal. If you see anything that looks out of place, do not use the machine and immediately report it to the authorities.
- Cover your hand when entering your PIN at an ATM or point-of-sale terminal. This will prevent thieves from using a hidden camera to record your PIN.
- Monitor your credit and debit card statements for unauthorized charges. If you see any suspicious activity, report it to your bank or credit card company immediately.
- Smartphones can also help prevent skimming when merchants accept mobile payments. Apple Pay and Android Pay use unique codes to encrypt all transactions, so there is no need for a credit card swipe.
- Your bank or credit card company has likely sent you a new card that is EMV-compliant, which includes a microchip to encrypt your data and keep you more secure. With each purchase you make using an EMV reader, a unique transaction code is generated that makes skimming impossible.
What to Do If Your Credit Card Is Skimmed
If you believe your credit card has been skimmed, it’s essential to act quickly. First, report the fraud to your bank or credit card company. This will help them cancel your card and issue a new one. Then, monitor your credit reports for any suspicious activity. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus annually. Finally, file a police report as soon as possible, like when other forms of financial fraud, such as personal information and phishing scams, occur. After that, concentrate on protecting your identity and any personal or financial information you may have.
Keep Your Personal Information Safe
Everything you do and say on the internet is susceptible to interception, gathering, and misuse in various internet and real-world scams. That’s why full cybersecurity is so important.