Monday, November 22, 2010

Credit & Debit Card Skimming

From Margie Tann - iSekurity
Source: Better Business Bureau

Beware of Debit and Credit Card Skimming

Card skimming is a crime that involves the, 'skimming' or stealing of information implanted in your card's magnetic strip. This is accomplished when a criminal attaches a device at the mouth of a card-acceptance slot that records the data on your card as you slide it in.

According to a recent article in Shop Smart Magazine, this scam is becoming even more sophisticated. The article quotes Brian Krebs, a computer security expert who says that criminals no longer have to return in person to collect the device and that the information can be sent to them wirelessly via text message. Here a small camera is installed in an adjacent pamphlet holder to record the information from the ATM's display screen and keyboard.

A small wireless transmitter hidden in the holder sends the pilfered information via a wireless transmitter to waiting thieves who can capture it on a laptop from up to 200 meters away.

Skimming techniques can be used not only at banks and other ATM sites, but also at many point-of-sale locations such as gas station pumps where customers commonly use debit cards to pay for purchases. As recently as January 2010, a Boston area man was arrested for using cameras and a skimming device to steal over $100,000 from the accounts of bank customers.

In another instance, U.S. Secret Service agents arrested a man who had installed 55 independent ATMs in California, Florida and New York to collect information on more than 1,400 different banks which he used to steal over $3.5 million dollars from customer account.

The BBB offers the following tips when using ATMs or paying for gas by card:

- Use your credit card at the gas pump instead of your debit card. This way, if you become victimized you haven't lost the money directly. You can contact your credit card company and they will get the fraudulent charges removed. If money is stolen directly from your bank account, this could have much worse consequences for you and getting the money replaced could take quite some time.

- Avoid using ATMs that are not located at a bank. These ATMs are often less secure so thieves have more opportunity to tamper with them.

- Look closely at the machine you are putting your card into. If it appears compromised in any way, (i.e. plastic sticking out, anything out of the ordinary attached) do not use it.

- If your card gets stuck in machine, do not leave the area. Call your bank right away and report the issue.

- Monitor your accounts daily for any fraudulent activity. The sooner you detect fraud, the better off you will be at resolving it quickly and keeping it from continuing.


  1. wonderful advide! thank you for this!


  2. Nice content, this content is related to Debit card. Thanks for great information.