HOW TO SPOT AND AVOID CARD SKIMMERS
So what exactly is a skimmer? A skimmer is a device designed to steal information from a card with a magnetic strip, either a credit or debit card. When your credit or debit card is swiped through a skimmer, the device captures data from the card’s magnetic strip. Thieves use the stolen data to make fraudulent charges either online or with a counterfeit card.
Skimmers have been noticeable in the past, some skimmers were attached over legitimate card swipes and could look awkward. Recently, skimmers have become almost undetectable. You may not see anything odd when you swipe your card during a legitimate financial transaction, usually at an ATM machine or a gas station pay at the pump, yet your card information could be stolen.
This causes a major inconvenience to you and ends up resulting in losses to you and your financial institution. Thieves will use the stolen data to make charges against your account, which in return freezes up your funds and requires you to file a dispute.
We want you to know how to avoid skimmer scams. Please use diligence when performing transactions at ATMs and gas station pay at pumps. Make sure to inspect the card reader and do the following:
- Verify if there is any tape in the reader. Pull on the card reader to make sure no skimmer is inserted. If you are using a gas station pay at pump, make sure the pump includes security tape and that the seal is not broken.
- Try to use ATMs at a credit union or bank location and avoid standalone ATMs.
- Use pay at pumps that are closer to the gas station doors and avoid pumps that are farther out.
If you happen to find a skimmer notify local authorities first and then PSCU.
ROMANCE AND DATING SCAMS
For your protection, never give out your banking information to anyone. Please remember PSCU will never ask for your account number or personal information.
EMAIL PHISHING ALERT
If you suspect an email message, please delete and do not reply. If you believe your personal information has been compromised, please contact our Communication Center immediately at (303) 691-2345, (970) 416-5000, or (800) 437-7328.
Every year sophisticated thieves steal millions of dollars from consumers by “skimming” their personal account information. Skimming, sometimes called “card cloning,” involves a thief installing a magnetic card reader, or skimmer, over the actual card reader at an ATM or gas pump.
When you swipe your card, the skimming device steals the information and transmits it to a remote computer. At the same time, a tiny, concealed camera reads your PIN as you key it in.
The camera often is in a bar the thief has affixed to the machine that looks the ATMs trim. Criminals usually ensure their counterfeit equipment matches the machine’s color scheme. Their methods are growing more sophisticated, including keypads that fit over the machine’s real keypad, eliminating the need for the camera.
Luckily, you can take steps to avoid becoming a victim:
• Use the same ATM as often as possible. Memorize how it looks, so you will know if anything about it looks fishy.
• Inspect the ATM. If anything looks unusual—cracked, loose, scratched, or taped—don’t use it.
• Avoid ATMs in popular tourist locations, as they’re common targets. When possible, use indoor ATMs, which are harder for thieves to tamper with.
• When entering your PIN on the keypad, cover the keypad with your free hand to block the view of a spying camera.
Check your account often. If you notice unusual activity, contact us at (303) 691-2345, (970) 416-5000 or (800) 437-7328 immediately.
Copyright 2013 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.
LET’S STAY IN TOUCH!
Please take a moment to make sure that we have your correct mailing address, phone number and email address on file so we can contact you with important information about your account.
You can update your information by:
- Calling us at (303) 691-2345, (970) 416-5000 or (800) 437-7328
- Mailing us at Public Service Credit Union, PO Box 5238, Englewood, CO 80155
- Sending us a secure message in My eBanking, or
- Emailing us at membercare%$pscuorg