What is ATM Skimming? How to Protect Yourself?

What is ATM Skimming

Fraudulent activities are not only proliferating online but also offline. Offline fraudulent activities do not only require the criminal sticking a gun to the victim to demand cash. Instead, it is done on our use of everyday ATM. This is called ATM or credit card Skimming.

What is ATM Skimming?

ATM or credit card skimming is the process whereby criminals use a particular device (“skimmer”) to steal user’s credit card information. With this information, the criminal uses the collected data for fraudulent activities such as creating counterfeit, directly stealing from the bank, and cloning credit cards.

How does this skimmer work?

This small device (Skimmer) used for these activities are placed on the face of the ATM where the card will be slot in. Most ATM users might not detect this because the device is usually small and undetected. Only users who are familiar with it or have an eye for security can notice it. Or if the skimmer used is of a low brand.

Also, for credit card skimming to work, the criminals need two things; your credit card pin and the data on your card’s magnetic strip. As you slot your card in the ATM, there is a hidden camera in the brochure holder adjacent to the ATM. This camera also helps to steal the card user pin. So be careful when using your card in the gas stations, and store expediency ATMs and even the commercial banks ATM; they can be venerable.

ATM Skimming Signs

As stated before It might be hard for you to know a skimmed ATM if you aren’t familiar with it, especially when you are not expert. However, there are a few little things you should keep in mind.

In-store or gas station: skimming in this, is usually different than the usually ATMs. When you notice any damaged part of an in-store device or double structured device; don’t use it, kindly report to the local authorities or card provider.

Standard ATM: a tapped ATM can be tough to distinguish, uniquely when an adept criminal places the skimming device. You have to look out for any scratches or different signs in the ATM card slot.

How to Protect Yourself from ATM Skimming?

1. Be selective of ATM

Some ATMs in the bars, restaurants, gas stations and malls are given less attention. So they are quickly tempered by thieves. You might want to reconsider using them.  

2. Scrutinize the ATM

We have mentioned this before, and we are doing it again because it is highly essential. Don’t just slot in your card in any ATM you encounter. You need to scrutiny it identify any unusually. Look out for any signs that show that the card slot has been tampered with. Is it glued? Or has tape around it?

3. Check out for a hidden camera

Look out for hidden cameras in the form of a tiny hole next to where you input your card pin when using the ATM. Also, it could be wedged at the top or side of the machine, or even positioned inside the light gears above it. As stealing of ATM pins is another method most criminal use for skimming. When they steal the pin, it will be used together with the other collected data. Or, they hijack the card from the owner at gunpoint then cashes are later withdrawn.

Don’t mistake the bank’s ATM cameras with a skimming camera. Bank’s cameras are apparent, unlike the skimming camera.

4. Guard your pin

If you are unsure if a hidden camera is available when putting your pin, guide your pin. While inputting your pin, use your free hand to shield the keypad. So, even if there is a hidden camera available, the pin is unseen.

5. Inspect the keypad

Using your hand as a shield will not be of much help if the keypad is padded. Sometimes some criminals don’t make use of cameras but instead, put an outlay on the keypad that duplicates the user pin. When the user is gone, the criminal who is usually nearby will remove the pins for their dubious activities.

6. Periodically check up on your bank statement

In case you fall victim to this fraud, if you usually check up on your bank statement, you will be detected on time. You are expected to report any fraudulent activities in your credit card within 60 days, depending on your card provider. However, for debit cards, a maximum of 2 days is expected from you to report apprehensive activities.

7. Be selective of the cards you use

It is best if you use a credit card that is linked to an account that has withdrawal limitations or less money in it. This will prevent the criminal from stealing all your funds as much funds aren’t there. Also, demand a credit card that has a chip technology with it. The chip will make it difficult for the thieves to steal your info easily.

More About Credit Card Security

The above guides are ways you can protect yourself from ATM skimming, which are offline. How about using and protecting your credit card online? There are various ways you can protect your credit card when making use of it online. 

These include the vitals which are being wary of the site you are purchasing from or making payment on and make use of a VPN when shopping online. The use of a VPN masks your IP to prevent a hacker or online fraudulent from stealing your online information. We don’t just recommend any VPN but a trusted one like RitaVPN

It is fast, has lots of servers to choose from, and has an available version for android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. Above all, the payment plans are very affordable. 

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