Don’t fall prey to ATM skimming scams. Scammers can quickly read a card’s information and use it to access your account fraudulently. With a small device, your card’s information gets stored so that criminals can easily get to it later. Skimmers may be installed on ATM machines or at the gas station pump, and sometimes you can’t even notice them. A small device goes over the normal card reading slot and reads your card’s magnetic stripe.
Skimmers can also be handheld devices that a dishonest merchant can keep in his pocket. While charging your card while you’re out at dinner, for example, a scammer can run your card through a skimmer as well.To avoid any hassles, use these tricks to avoid getting caught in a skimming scam:
- Use secure ATM machines – under video surveillance or inside of a bank lobby. They're less likely to be tampered with. Thieves have to take more risk installing skimmers where there are security cameras.
- Cover the ATM keypad as you're entering your PIN -- just in case there's a hidden camera around.
- Skimming devices will stick out a few extra inches from an ATM. If something looks suspicious, find another ATM. Don't fall for a poor fitting device (or a sticker or sign that says "Swipe Here First", or “Use This Machine Only”).
- If a machine keeps your card, call the bank immediately and report it.
- Don't accept "help" from anybody hanging around the ATM machine. They may say they were having trouble also and you just need to enter your PIN again.
- Keep your eyes on your card if you have any doubts. Don't let a merchant walk off with your card -- even for a few seconds.
Notidy us immediately if you believe you have been a victim of a skimming scam.