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Card Fraud and Skimming

Your ATM card gives you access to your accounts at an ATM or point-of-sale machine, and this is why it is vital that both your card and your PIN are kept safe.

Remember: it is your responsibility to protect your ATM card PIN or passwords and to report lost or stolen cards immediately.

Stolen Cards

The most common form of ATM card fraud occur when a card are stolen and used by an individual who knows the PIN.  By having possession of the ATM card and the PIN accounts become accessible to thieves at point-of-sale machines and ATMs.  Sometimes thieves may guess a PIN - which is why it's especially important to choose a PIN that cannot be easily guessed.

ATM Card "Skimming"

ATM card skimming - an increasingly common form of ATM card fraud - occurs when the information on the card is captured using special "readers".  At the same time, the PIN may be captured on a camera or by an individual stationed just over the shoulder of the card owner. The card information captured on the the readers is then copied to another card and, using the PIN, the accounts become accessible to fraudsters.

Very often ATM card "skimming" readers are placed in the the card slot or on the ATM room door card slot - without the knowledge of the ATM owner.  For a point-of-sale transaction a merchant may swipe the card twice: once on a real point-of-sale machine and once on a reader.

Protect Yourself From ATM Card Fraud

You can protect yourself from ATM card fraud:

  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place at all times
  • At a point-of-sale machine swipe your card yourself; if the merchant must swipe your card for you watch your card until it is handed back to you
  • Be vigilant: even point-of-sale  machines or ATMs at reputable merchants can be the location of ATM card skimming frauds
  • Never share your PIN with anyone else
  • When you enter your PIN at a point-of-sale machine or ATM shield the keypad with your hand or body to prevent others from watching your enter your information
  • Choose a secure PIN: don't use birthdates or personal information or single and sequential numbers
  • Don't use ATM machines that appear to have their card slots tampered with or are in a state of disrepair
  • Report lost or stolen ATM cards immediately

If You Are A Target Or Victim

If you are the target or victim of an identity theft or fraud attempt we can help. Read more.