Vigilance by consumers can help protect against credit/debit card fraud. Skimming has been described as one of the most significant problems facing the credit/debit card industry, as it can happen anywhere a credit card is accepted. The best way for consumers to protect themselves from skimming is by paying attention to the details of credit/debit card usage.
When a credit/debit card is skimmed, data on the card, including the account number, is electronically transmitted or stored. The credit card information can then be encoded onto a lost, stolen, or counterfeit credit card and used anywhere in the world.
Since there are legitimate uses for many of the devices used to read or skim credit/debit cards, paying attention to where you use your credit/debit cards can also help prevent fraud. Examples of skimming instances include:
A collusive store employee completes a valid sale, and then captures a second (unauthorized) swipe covertly on a portable device before returning the card to the cardholder. A skimming device is added to the front of an ATM or gas pump and captures the credit/debit card information as the consumer attempts to use the machine. A skimming device is added inside an ATM or gas pump and captures information during a valid transaction. In many cases a covert camera is also set up to capture the card holder’s personal identification (PIN) number.
To protect against these instances of skimming, Arkansas Best Federal Credit Union advises consumers to pay attention to their cards at the point of sale.
Ensure your credit/debit card is swiped only once at a register. Conceal your PIN as you enter it into an ATM or credit/debit card reader. If an ATM or gas pump looks odd or appears to have
some sort of device attached to it, don’t use it but bring it to the attention of the owner of the machine.
If you suspect you may be a possible victim of skimming or other financial fraud, contact Arkansas Best Federal Credit Union, 479- 649-2060 and/or local police.