Avoid scam while using your debit card
“Scamming skimmers keep skimming for scratch while scammed bankers simmer” is unfortunately not the opening line to a lost Dr. Seuss book, but a fraud scam that continues to wreak havoc on banks and clients across the nation. While it has existed in some form for quite some time now, as of late, fraud related to card skimming has exploded with some estimates showing an increase of 759% in the first half of 2022. With that in mind, skimmers are something that we all need to be aware of and vigilant about.
What is a skimmer, you might ask? It is a device inserted into a card reader that is disguised to look like part of an ATM. This attachment allows scammers to collect card numbers, information from the mag stripe and, when coupled with a small camera hidden with the skimmer, PINs. This information can then be used to make fraudulent purchases on the internet or even replicated into counterfeit cards. Those counterfeit cards are then used for “skimming,” which are ATM withdrawals performed by the fraudulent cards. This can be very lucrative to the crooks—and dangerous for everyone else.
So, what can people do?
When using an ATM, give the machine a look over to ensure one of these devices has not been attached to the machine. ATMs with skimmers tend to be bulkier around the card reader attachment. The skimmer might not be a perfect fit so it could be loose or attached with glue or even tape.
Gas pumps and convenience stores are other popular locations to place a skimmer. If you do happen to find one or suspect that you have, you can either notify the store, the ATM or card reader owner, or even call the police.
Another way to protect your card information is to use a digital wallet like those offered by Apple, Google and Samsung to load your card. This will utilize a process known as “tokenization” so that when you make purchases with the digital wallet your actual card number is never used.
Another important way you can protect yourself is to make sure your contact information is current and accurate with your bank. Many banks—including TS Bank—will send you a text message or give you a phone call to verify purchases made with your card that have been determined to be potentially fraudulent. If your card information has been compromised, TS Bank is able to instantly issue you a replacement card at any of our branches.
With persistence and awareness, hopefully we can leave the skimming criminals in the dust.
At TS Bank, we IGNITE PROSPERITY® by helping our clients do more with their money. Whether it’s saving a little extra cash each month or accomplishing a long-term strategy, our goal is to help you transform your financial life. Call and schedule an appointment today, one of our team members would love to help you do more with your money at TS Bank. TS Bank has eight locations in central and southwest Iowa. For more information visit tsbank.com or call 844-487-3030. #igniteprosperity