We have received reports of an increase in card skimming fraud occurring across the country. To best protect your financial information, it’s important to understand how the scam works and recognize the signs to avoid becoming a victim.
A card skimmer is a device illegally installed on card readers to collect magnetic stripe information from credit, debit or ATM cards. The captured information can include your name, card number, expiration date, and security (CVV) code. In some cases, the fraudster will also add a microscopic camera or key logging device to capture additional information, such as the card’s personal identification number (PIN) or security code.
Skimmers are often installed on self-service terminals such as gas pumps, stand-alone ATMs or vending machines due to the lack of supervision. The thieves then return at a later time to collect the devices and retrieve the stolen data. There have also been reports of thieves using Bluetooth to collect the information from card skimmers remotely. The thieves then sell the data or use it to make fraudulent purchases or withdrawals.
Signs that a skimmer may be present include, but are not limited to:
- Unusual damage to the card reader or surround.
- Glue or adhesive marks on or surrounding the card reader.
- Unusual brochure holders or plastic panels added above or around the card reader or PIN pad that could contain a camera.
- Unusual feeling keyboard or a keyboard that appears to sit higher than usual.
- Unexpected outcomes or malfunctions when using the card reader or ATM.
As skimming devices have become more sophisticated, it can be difficult to tell if a terminal has been tampered with, so it’s important also to take steps to prevent fraud, such as:
- Monitoring your accounts regularly. The quicker fraudulent transactions are detected, the sooner you and your financial institution can help protect your identity and your accounts. Monitor your accounts regularly using online, mobile or telephone banking and notify your financial institution immediately if you suspect fraud on your accounts.
- Avoid suspicious or unfamiliar card terminals or ATMs whenever possible. Skimming devices need to be manually installed, so the fraudster is likely to target less visible and low traffic locations.
- Inspect the terminal before swiping or inserting your card, and shield your PIN from view when you are entering it.
- Be aware of your surroundings and proximity to others
If you locate a skimming device, immediately contact local law enforcement to report it. If you fall victim to ATM skimming or notice any suspicious activity on your MVSB accounts, please contact us as soon as possible.