What is ATM Skimming?
ATM Skimming is identity theft for debit cards. Fraudsters use hidden electronics, such as cameras, to steal the personal information stored on a card, and record the owner’s PIN number to access the hard-earned cash in the member’s account.
How can you protect yourself from ATM Skimming?
Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings when utilizing an ATM. Be sure the ATM does not appear to have been tampered with. Be prepared to conduct your transaction when you approach the ATM. Have your card ready and know what transaction or transactions you want to conduct. If someone takes an interest in your transaction, leave the area and report the suspicious behavior to police. When using a drive-through ATM, keep all doors locked and all windows up, except as needed.
Here are four tips to help prevent skimming and keep you protected.
1. Protect Your PIN and Your Money.
Hidden cameras are often used to steal your PIN. Covering the keyboard as you enter your PIN is a simple way to help avoid theft. Never give your PIN or account number to anyone, especially over the phone of over a cell phone. Always assume someone is watching. Choose a PIN that is unique. Do not choose an obvious number. Never write down your PIN, especially in your checkbook or on your cards. Remove your cash, receipt and card after every transaction. Never leave receipts behind. Have any deposits prepared before you approach the ATM. Make sue the ATM envelope has been accepted. Secure any cash you withdraw before leaving the machine.
2. Stay Away from Unfamiliar ATMs
Check out the environment as you approach the ATM. The safest ATMs are those with the logo of your credit union. Lightly tug on the card reader to see if it is loose or moves around. Look for anything new on or immediately around the ATM. Do not use any ATM with a card reader that appears altered. Avoid facilities in dark or remote places. Avoid free standing ATMs on street corners. Avoid ATMs in areas where bystanders that seem to be loitering rather than conducting business are gathered. If there is a perceived problem with the ATM, do not use it. Do not help anyone who says they may be affected by any such problem. Instead, leave the area and contact the police immediately as this person is most likely a fraudster, attempting to obtain your card information, or cause you financial harm.
3. Check Your Balances Frequently
Check your account daily and verify all transactions. Examine your statements promptly to identify unauthorized transactions. If you notice something wrong, use the contact number on the back of your debit card to report any fraudulent withdrawals.
All accounts at credit unions are insured. If you believe your card and/pr PIN has been lost, stolen or compromised, captured by an ATM, or that someone has transferred or may transfer money from your account without your permission, do not accept help from anyone who may offer it. Instead, leave the area. Contact your credit union immediately if you see any suspicious activity on unauthorized transactions, and your credit union will assist you in cancelling your card as needed.