Debit Card Skimming

Fraudsters can use a special scanner to collect data off a debit card that can later be used to make unauthorized purchases. Often, the person owning the card has no idea that their information has been compromised.

These debit card scanners can be installed on ATMs or gas station pumps and many are virtually undetectable. A camera or magnetic device set up nearby can then captures the PIN entered by the victim. The PIN and the card number collected from the scanner give the fraudster all the information he needs. The victim is unaware his information has been compromised until he notices strange and usual purchases made on his account.

  • Be wary of any stand-alone ATM. Obviously there are plenty of legitimate ones, but look around and be suspicious of an ATM that isn't bolted to the side of a building or secured inside a facility. A legitimate ATM is heavy and not easy to move. Also, beware of stand-alone ATMs that advertise "no fees," since most legitimate owners of stand-alone ATMs have to charge fees to make money.
  • Avoid ATMs if the access door or any part of the machine is broken . If the lock on the door to the room accessing the machine is broken, beware and don't use the machine. A fraudster may have forced open the door to install a skimming device.
  • Beware of "out of service" signs. If your ATM has a "out of service" sign, it could be legitimate -- or it could be trying to get you to use another nearby ATM that had been compromised.
  • Report "malfunctions" immediately. If you get an error message instead of money, contact your financial institution immediately.
  • Access your account on line and frequently monitor your transaction activity. Take a few minutes every week to log onto your accounts and review your transactions. Report bogus transactions immediately.

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