How often do you find yourself using your debit card, your credit card, or any other form of plastic currency? Credit card companies are constantly renewing and improving their encryptions and safety measures in order to maintain your information’s safety; however, the less savory folk in our society are always developing new insidious ways to work around the safeguard in place by card providers. In today’s modern society there always seems to be a new threat to your privacy and security at every turn, today we will explore one of these threats: card skimming.
Card skimmers are tools used by thieves to steal your credit card information by placing a very hard-to-detect piece of material (usually plastic) over a card port where you would pay for a transaction, the tool would then record your information without you ever knowing that it happened. This is a common tool used for stealing credit cards, debit cards, fleet cards, and other card information. Protecting your information from these thieves is vital, but difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some clues to look out for when using your fleet card or credit card.
1. Be Wary of The Card Reader
When using a card reader at any location be wary of the slider, be sure that it is not loose or flimsy as all of these machines are built very sturdy and should not come apart easily. The magnetic card strip readers are usually placed inside of plastic devices that are made to look just like card readers on ATM machines or gas station card readers.
2. Cover Your PIN number
These devices are usually used with tiny cameras nearby to record your pin number. Usually, covering the number pad with one hand while using the other to enter your PIN is enough to ensure your PIN’s safety, however, if you feel anything is out of place on the machine it is best to just leave that station entirely.
3. Avoid Lonely ATM Machines
Criminals like to target low-hanging, easy fruit. The highest rate of card skimming theft is from non-bank ATM machines that are located in hard-to-see obscure spots or gas pumps that are furthest away from the service center’s view. Avoid when possible any of these machines, but if that is not an option then a quick inspection of the machine’s card reader and keypad for any abnormalities or flaws. If you find any of these things to be out of place, let the service station or business owner know who should then contact the local authorities. For a very in-depth picture gallery showing what card skimmer devices look like check out Krebson security’s gallery Here.
If you’re interested in how our government is fighting against card skimmers, learn more by reading about operation deep impact.
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