Card Skimming in easy words is the theft of Credit Card PIN codes for stealing money from accounts. A person who steals and frauds through credit card skimming is called a skimmer. A skimmer is an evil genius person who uses a device on a card reader which can record all your credit card information. It is really hard for people to notice that device especially when they are not familiar with this type of fraud.
Credit Card Skimming
While shopping or at ATMs when you simply use your card by swiping or inserting it into ATM machines, a skimming device interprets your debit and credit card’s magstripe, and all your private information regarding that card gets captured in that device. The information includes your name, card number, expiration date, and so on. The device can store information of multiple cards which all at the end of the day go to the skimmer. Skimmer would go to the violated machine, would take out his device, and gather all the information.
Now how would he steal the money as he does not have a PIN, Right? But the bitter truth is that he does. There are a couple of ways through which a skimmer can get the PIN of your debit card to have direct access to your account. The device which the skimmer uses to steal information comprises a camera that can capture your PIN card. The skimmer might also fit a camera above the machine. Some skimmers also use a keypad that fits onto the machine’s pad.
And he may still steal and fraud without a PIN card by just using your information. The skimmer may clone the cards, he can also frauds by using card-not-present tact. There could be a lot of ways for him to get access to your account with the help of your basic card information.
Detect Credit Card Skimming Device
While using an ATM try to be as vigilant as possible. Look around the room and especially near the keypad area and above it on the ceiling for cameras. When you are entering your PIN just cover the pad so it becomes invisible to anyone except you.
Credit Card Skimming Devices are hard to spot as they appear very identical to real ones. So for spotting the skimming device you have to carefully examine the machine.
Look for these things:
- The color patterns of both are slightly different.
- Check if it looks weird or unusual than other machines.
- Slightly move to shake and check the card reader and keypad; if they are loosely or tightly fit. The skimming device is loosely attached so if it feels loose avoid inserting your card.
- Security seal and panel should be checked, make sure they are not damaged or broken.
How to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Skimming?
To keep yourself safe from frauds, ensure these things before using a card;
Try to avoid using your credit card everywhere especially at risky places. For payments; try to use android mobile apps.
Use supervised ATMs
These days you will find ATMs at every corner of the city, from gas stations to shopping malls. Prefer using supervised ATMs instead of those placed in dark and weird places. In this way, the chance of getting skimmed would be lesser.
Take care of your cards
Do not let anyone touch your card especially strangers, whenever you need to pay through a card, do it yourself. Keep it safe and with you.
Credit card with chip
Prefer using a credit card instead of a debit card. A chip on a card makes your card more secure.
Try to use credit cards from reliable banks. Turn on Email and messages notifications for credit cards so you get notifications every time you transact money.
Shimming is quite similar to skimming. It is done through a device called shim. A shim reads and collects the credit card’s chip. Shim is fitted inside a machine’s reader and they are harder to spot. So, for the complete assurance of the security of your card, try to use better and supervised ATMs.
You need to be very responsible, smart, and vigilant in protecting your money, credit cards, and everything against theft and fraud. You will slowly get a hold of these things through effort and vigilance.