A skimming device is a tool illegally affixed to a legitimate ATM or other automated point-of-sale machine to assist criminals in committing fraud. The device picks up ATM or debit card information when your card is swiped. A miniature camera sometimes used with the device to record the PIN of users. By copying the data onto blank cards and using an acquired PIN, fraudsters can access your money.
ATM skimming is a sophisticated crime. The devices used to commit fraud are complex and difficult to detect. At the same time, ATMs are well equipped with security measures to detect unauthorized activity. Additionally, our branch staff has procedures in place to prevent our ATMs from being compromised and processes to ensure any tampering is immediately detected. We have had some members fall victim to these devices at gas stations, restaurants or other self-service point-of-sale machines. As always, we feel that awareness is the best way to prevent any type of fraud.
Here’s how to protect yourself from fraud associated with skimming devices:
The simplest and most effective way to protect your card and PIN is to cover the keypad from view when you enter your PIN. Developing this simple habit can prevent thieves from accessing your money, regardless of whether they’ve skimmed your card.
Take caution if you notice inconsistencies in your ATM experience. Some fraud artists are now using cell phone cameras to film videos of PINs being entered while standing behind users at ATMs.
If you’ve used an ATM in the past and you remember it being a motorized ATM (one that takes and holds your card during your transaction) and now it’s a “dip” ATM (one that you simply dip in and pull your card out), take caution. A skimming device may be attached.
Similarly, if the card swipe doesn’t match the color or style of the ATM machine, it might be a skimmer. Compare the card device to others at nearby ATMs or gas pumps. Gas stations that ask for your zip code instead of your PIN may be a safer option.
Above all, trust your instincts. If you suspect foul play, or if you’re in doubt about the authenticity of a machine, use a different machine or payment method.
Transaction alerts keep you informed of account activity. When a transaction occurs on your account, you’ll receive a courtesy email. If the transaction wasn’t yours, contact us immediately. An immediate response to suspected fraud is the best way to protect your money. We can shut down your card to protect your funds and send you a new card or issue you a new card at a branch. These simple alerts can be set and managed under the “Manage Profile” tab in BranchLine online banking.
If you suspect that you could have been a victim of ATM skimming or any fraudulent activity, call us at (888) 858-6878 as soon as possible. We can offer additional layers of protection on your account.
by Michelle, AVP, Operations