Thieves are crafty and always looking for new ways to trick unsuspecting consumers out of their money. As technology evolves, they change their approach. Card skimming devices, for example, are becoming more advanced and difficult to detect. A card skimmer is a method thieves use to collect data from your credit or debit card magnetic strip, at the time you use it. They are typically installed on gas pumps, ATMs, and transit ticket dispensers. Traditionally, card skimmers were installed on the outside of machines; now, thieves are finding ways to put skimming devices inside machines, making them even harder to detect.
Cover that keypad
While nothing is 100% foolproof to prevent fraud, using common sense while following a few safety precautions will help. We recently published our tips for preventing card skimming fraud. To add to this information, we want to emphasize that your card information cannot be used without the PIN or zip code. When using your card, always cover the keypad when you enter this information. This will prevent thieves from recording it from a camera that might have been installed above the machine or nearby.
Use mobile wallet
An alternative to swiping your card is paying by mobile wallet including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay. This form of payment is secure because your credit card information is tokenized and rendered useless if a thief where to get a hold of it.
Most gas stations haven’t yet updated their pumps to accept this form of payment, but many offer it if you go inside the service station to pay. Taking an extra minute to walk inside could save you a whole load of problems later on.
If you suspect a skimming device
Report it to the manager of the location immediately! They are responsible for the integrity of their machines and need to know if there has been any sort of tampering.
If you suspect your card has been compromised
Contact your financial institution immediately. 1st United members should call (800) 649-0193 immediately. For your protection, we can monitor your account or block and reissue your card. In addition, we recommend you sign up for fraud text alerts to help monitor your account activity.
Following these few precautionary steps should help to keep your accounts safe. As new information comes available, we’ll be sure to update you. Check back often. You may also subscribe to receive updates by email.