…By Rotimi Onadipe
With the prevalence of cashless transactions in today’s digital age, there is no doubt that we are presently in an epidemic of electronics fraud.
We must be informed that most ATM and POS terminals are vulnerable to hacking because most transactions are now done electronically. This of course increases our vulnerabilities to ATM and POS skimming fraud everyday.
In a recent report in New Jersey, a major skimming fraud was exposed. It involved attacks on over 1,000 bank customers, with criminals attempting to escape with over $1.5 million.
What is skimming?
Skimming is a crafty way through which fraudsters steal cardholder information. It occurs when a fraudster puts a card scanner on top of the card slot of an automated teller machine (ATM) or point of sale (POS) terminal.
The main purpose of the scanner is to scan the card and steal sensitive information of the cardholder. In most cases, the fraudsters also install a pin hole camera at any unnoticeable location of the ATM or POS terminal to record how the user is entering his PIN.
Some criminals go as far as installing a fake PIN pad over the actual keyboard to record the keystrokes of the user.
The fraudsters use the recorded information to create a fake credit or debit card and use it for criminal purposes.
In most cases, the victims of ATM and POS skimming fraud are not aware of the fraudulent activities going on with their card until they receive a debit alert.
As far as ATM or POS skimming fraud is concerned, there is no perfect security for all users because the scammers are becoming smarter and more sophisticated everyday.
However, keeping the following safety tips in mind is a great way to protect yourself against ATM and POS skimming fraud:
1. Investigate the source of the ATM or POS terminal.
2. Look closely at the ATM to see if there is any hidden camera.
3. Watch for any component that has been tampered with. If you notice any, don’t use the machine.
4. Feel the card slot with your hand. If it’s shaking or it looks bigger than the normal size, don’t insert your card.
5. Press the key pad repeatedly to know if it is working properly or shaking when you are entering your PIN.
6. Cover your fingers when typing your PIN.
7. Don’t allow anyone to assist you to insert your card into the ATM or POS terminal.
8. Don’t use the ATM or POS in a dark environment.
9. Make sure no one is watching you from behind when you are entering your PIN.
10. If you notice anything suspicious when using the machine, complain and report to your bank immediately.
11. Make sure there is no electronic device around the ATM or POS terminal.
12. If you are a victim of ATM or POS skimming fraud, report immediately to your bank.
13. Educate yourself about how to protect yourself against ATM and POS skimming fraud.