‘Tis the season for fraud, unfortunately. While we can’t completely protect ourselves from becoming a victim of fraud there are a few things we can do to lower that risk this holiday season.
Card skimmers are a mechanical device attached to an ATM or gas pump by thieves. These devices are used to “skim” your card info. They are usually accompanied by a hidden camera that records your PIN as you punch it in.
To reduce the risk of being victimized by card skimmers, follow these simple steps:
1. Take a closer look.
Take a second to look closely at the card reader. See anything off? Maybe the color or style of the reader doesn’t match the machine. Watch for any differences.
2. Give it a shake.
Take your hand and try to shake or move the card reader. Feel wobbly or loose? Might be a skimmer. Stay safe and report it to the manager.
3. Take cover.
It’s always a good idea to cover the keypad when entering your PIN. This way, even if you weren’t able to detect a skimmer, the scammers won’t have your PIN.
4. High visibility.
Stick to well-known ATM’s at your credit union. Although ATM’s at financial institutions are still susceptible to scammers, it’s a lot less likely compared to ATMs in liquor stores or night clubs that are not closely monitored. Use gas pumps that face the attendant as these are pumps less likely to have been tampered with.
Be sure to share these tips with friends and family to keep them safe this holiday season!
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