Another card skimming scam has hit Winnipeg. Several people took to Twitter, including MLA Erin Selby, reporting that their bank accounts had been emptied. The scheme seems to have targeted Cambrian Credit Union customers.
If you’re not familiar with it, card skimming is the process of stealing credit/debit card numbers (and sometimes their private PIN number) from unsuspecting customers.
It can be done electronically by placing a tampered/hacked PIN pad at a retailer, or putting a skimming device on a ATM machine.
There’s also a manual process where a cashier who would be in on the scam would swipe your card twice, once onto a skimming device that copies your card information, and a second time to process the regular transaction.
Here’s a few tips on how to avoid Card Skimming via Wired.com.
As they note, even though all of these steps are solid precautions to take, the best thing you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of skimming is to be aware of where you’re using your debit or credit card. Do not use a machine that looks unusual, and instead find a different way to pay or bank and report the unusual-looking machine to the business or bank.
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1. Make sure the machine isn’t tampered with BEFORE you use it:
This is one of most important things that you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim of skimming. In most instances when the criminals are installing the skimming devices, they tend to leave “red flags” that can suggest the machine has been tampered with. The usual “red flags” include loose, crooked, damaged or scratched ATM, POS systems or gas pumps and you should also be wary if you notice any tape or adhesive residue on the machine itself because it could mean the machine was incorrectly tampered with or opened by criminals.