Heading out for the holidays this season? Be careful of where, when, and how you are using your card. As technology evolves so do the bad guys. Many credit card thieves get your card information using a device called a Credit Card Skimmer.
A credit card skimmer is a portable capture device that is attached in front of or on top of a legitimate card scanner like an ATM, gas pump, or any other self service point-of-sale terminals. The skimmer will record the card data as you insert your card into the real scanner “skimming” the information held within the magnetic strip. Skimmer technology as evolved from this where some skimmers capture your PIN number and records it by using a secondary keypad to capture the date while you use the real keypad. They will then use that data to make counterfeit cards and rack up pricey purchases all at your expense.
Below are our top 5 ways to avoid Card Skimmers:
- Inspect Card Reader & Pin Pad – Take a few moments to examine the card reader before inserting your card. Does it look like the front panel has been pried apart? Is the keypad raised, rather than flush against the console? Do buttons look different than a nearby pump and/or ATM keypad. Is the card reader loose? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the pump may have been tampbered with; do not use it.
- Turn Your Card On/Off with your WGLFCU CardNav App -- With the WGLFCU CardNav app you have the ability to turn on/off your debit card anytime, and anywhere. This gives you complete control over your debit card. For more information visit our CardNav App
- Avoid Using Your PIN Number at the Gas Pump – When you pay at the pump with your debit/credit card you usually have the option to pay with a PIN. It’s best that you choose the credit option that allows yout o avoid entering your PIN in sight of a Card Skimmer camera. When you use credit it allows you to enter your billing ZIP code as verification with is much safe than putting in your PIN.
- Trust Your Instincts – If you get a sense that something is off about an ATM or gas pump you are about to use, you might be better off using one that you feel more comfortable with.
- Keep an Eye on Your Accounts – If you suspect you may be a vicitim of card skimming keep an eye on your account balance and report any suspicious activity immediately.