When money was invented in the world, scammers popped up. When Internet was invented, hackers showed up merely the next day. So little surprise that the increasing number of ATMs led to the spread of the so-called skimming.
To explain basic terminology, skimming is unauthorized copying of bank data from the magnetic strip of a plastic card. There is also carting which means a deliberate hacking of a plastic card.
In skimming, the bank data is read from the plastic with the purpose of unauthorized funds withdrawal. The process is carried out using a new technology – a device with a simple name skimmer. It is also possible to install an inconspicuous video camera to track the PIN code.
If the bank card disappeared from your wallet in public transport or hypermarket, and you noticed this fact, contact your bank and block the account as soon as possible. However, the use of the skimmer is not so obvious – to find it out is possible due to suspiciously convex overhead keyboard where the skimmer is mounted on the card reader of the ATM.
Sometimes scammers use such trick as a “flying Dutchman”. This is a phantom cash machine. It reports an apology about the lack of cash at the moment after reading all the necessary data of your bank card. Such phantoms are very rare, but still used.
The Highest Level of Protection
Today, chip cards are more secure than those with magnetic strip. At the modern level of hacker technology there are still no corresponding skimmers that will allow to copy the chip card. The ATMs simply do not accept a duplicate without a chip. The chip is not 100% security for your savings, but it protects the sensitive data much better than the magnetic strip technology.
- Be aware of fake keyboard. Scammers install it on the ATM over the original one. The purpose of such instrument is to remember everything that you type, and transfer clicks to real keys. The ATM responds to the pressing as usual, so it is difficult to notice the substitution. Then the criminals take the overlay, decrypt the record and recognize the PIN.
- Use ATM only in public places with good security service which minimize any interference to the machine. Avoid taking cash in the dark or barely known places. Try to use pos-terminals in restaurants at home and abroad.
- Use Mobile Banking. Receive SMS about all transactions on the account to quickly respond to unexpected charges. This will not help, though, if if your phone is off.
- Set the limits for one cash-in or daily limit. Specify the delivery of cash in the Internet bank. Scammers will not be able to withdraw the entire amount at a time.
Overall, most new bank plastics technologies protect the data better than previous technologies. However, one has to remember that hackers improve their technologies as well.