Over the past few years, skimmer fraud has increased at ATMs and gas pumps. Any payment terminal is subject to these attacks, including our BXS ATMs. You can help in the early detection and reporting by taking a moment to familiarize yourself with these basics.
What is a skimmer?
Skimmers are fake card readers that are attached to a payment terminal such as an ATM or gas pump where you swipe your credit or debit card. Typically, these devices are small and fit directly over an existing card reader, often going unnoticed. Here’s how they work:
An unknowing victim swipes a card at an ATM or gas pump – unaware that a skimmer is attached to the card reader. The information on the card’s magnetic strip is gathered by an identity thief, who then either clones the victim’s card or sells the data to another thief. The thieves will use the victim’s card information to make unauthorized purchases up to the card credit limit or beyond; all without the victim’s knowledge.
The fraudsters may even take it a step further by placing hidden cameras in the vicinity of the keypad to see and record the PIN.
How can you protect yourself from skimmer fraud?
- Carefully inspect the payment terminal before you insert your card. If anything looks different, do not use it. Maybe the keyboard does not match the rest of the machine. The dispenser might have tape on it that seals the door. Look for scratches or adhesive residue. Jiggle the card reader. If it’s loose, don’t use it. If it’s difficult to insert your card, stop and report it.
- Cover your PIN. No matter where you enter your PIN, cover it so that no one sees your number, and you’ll limit your exposure to fraud - especially if the fraudster has installed a camera. If you are typing in your PIN and the keypad feels stiff or difficult to press, stop and report it.
- At gas stations, always use a gas pump that is closer to the station attendant --- stay away from pumps hidden from the attendant's view.
- Set up alerts on your accounts. One of the best ways to be notified if any fraud occurs on your account is to set up automatic alerts. By setting up alerts, if your balance falls below a certain level, or an unauthorized transaction is made, you receive notification immediately.You can quickly set up alerts on your BXS accounts through online banking.
- Review your account activity regularly and report unauthorized activity immediately.
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t use it. Awareness is a big part of staying safe. If you suspect anything suspicious, report it to local law enforcement. Using these tips will help you avoid being a victim of skimming fraud and keep your accounts safe and secure.
If you feel you’ve been a victim of this or any other type of fraud, please call us immediately at 888-797-7711.
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