What is Skimming?
Skimming is an act of stealing information from the magnetic strip of the cards that are used at ATMs or merchant establishments. For doing this, they conceal a small device called skimmer to record the card information. Skimming can occur in ATMs, restaurants, shops or other locations.
At ATM machines
Fraudsters insert a skimming device to the ATM's card slot. This device scans the card and stores its associated information. A tiny strategically positioned camera is used to capture the PIN. Later, the fraudsters download the data from skimming device which is further used to create counterfeit cards.
At Restaurants/Shopping Outlets
At restaurants and shopping outlets, the Credit Card is swiped twice, once for the regular transaction and the other in the skimmer that captures the card information which is retrieved later by the fraudsters.
How you can you avoid being duped by a skimmer?
- When at the ATM or merchant outlet, look out for suspicious objects like hidden cameras, an unusual looking keypad or any other suspicious object fitted into the card slot
- Cover the keypad when entering your ATM PIN.
- Monitor your bank transactions and notify your bank as soon as you identify any suspicious transaction.
- Keep your PIN a secret. Never reveal it to anyone at restaurants, petrol pumps and even to someone who claims to be calling from your bank or a police officer.
- Check that other people in the queue are at reasonable distance away from you.
- Be cautious if strangers offer to help you at an ATM, even if your card is stuck or you are having difficulties. Do not allow anyone to distract you.