Have you ever heard of skimming? Have you ever been a victim?
If you have, then you know that a skimmer is almost entirely undetectable by users. A skimmer is an electronic device that can be placed over a card slot on an ATM, a gas pump, and other machines that have a slot to insert your debit or credit card. At Central National Bank we’re careful to check our ATMs regularly for these devices, but there are many other places you use your card, so here’s a few tips – published by the FBI – for protecting yourself from theft via skimming.
- Inspect the card reader slot before inserting your card. Be suspicious if you notice anything loose, crooked, or damaged. Scratches and adhesive/tape residue can also be warning signs.
- When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
- If possible, use ATMs and payment terminals at inside locations (less access for criminals to install skimmers).
- If your card isn’t returned after the transaction or after hitting “cancel”, immediately contact your card provider.
If you notice any of these signs and are suspicious of foul play, contact the company/owner of the terminal as soon as possible and do not insert your card into the slot. If it’s an ATM, contact the financial institution that owns the ATM. Better safe than sorry.