Be careful of Skimming
Friday, November 23, 2018
There has been an influx of skimmer fraud at ATMs and gas pumps. What is skimming? Skimming is taking money from a person before it enters a legitimate business’s records or accounting system. Often this is done by an unapproved credit card reading device that is illegally and covertly installed.
We first became aware of this when it was reported on local news but it has been making airwaves again lately right before the holidays.
How do you prevent this from happening?
Make sure you are extra discerning with the gas station equipment, keyboard and card reader before inserting your card. Check to make sure there are no modifications. Check to make see if any security tape or seals on the devices have been pulled off or broken or loose. See if there are anything hidden in the devices or even ATM’s that can get information from your magnetic stripe.
Also use your fingers to see if the device shakes or is loose. Perhaps something is loose or tight on the device.
Perhaps you can also use your phone. It may try to detect if there is a Bluetooth skimmer to gain your information. This is called “bluesnarfing” or “blue skimming” because a thief may use information transmitted to a mobile device or laptop.
Also try to avoid pumps that are in dark locations or not in direct site of the cashier. It may be easier for someone to install something malicious. Even with security cameras everywhere it may not catch a person doing something with ill intent. And speaking of cameras the thief may be able to install a tiny pinhole camera to capture your inputs as well.
Some tips to prevent fraud is to pay with cash or inside the store instead of at the pump. Pick a pump that is very close to the store and use credit cards when paying to reduce your liability if fraud occurs. You may also consider digital wallet payments on stores that support it so it can’t be skimmed. And finally don’t forget to check your monthly bank and card statements for fraudulent activity.