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.
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