Debit Card Safety: ATM Skimming Scheme and More
Creating a custom PIN number, using your debit card in secure public places, or shielding the keypad with your hand might keep your debit card safe most of the time, but the reality is your debit card is susceptible to identity theft wherever you go.
Thieves can retrieve your debit card number, PIN number and personal information in a variety of ways, from extracting your information from an online purchase to using the ATM Skimming Scheme.
The ATM Skimming Scheme is a technique used by thieves to steal personal and bank account information. The thieves install a small piece of equipment in the ATM card reader that reads the cardholder’s electronic account information stored on the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. (For more information about the ATM Skimming Scheme, visit http://www.identity-theft-awareness.com/ATM-skimming.html).
Protect yourself and your debit card with the following tips:
- Never tell anyone your PIN number. Just like your email or computer lock screen password, your PIN number should be kept secret. Never write this number on a piece of paper or on your card itself, and don’t give your PIN number to anyone over the telephone – not even your bank!
- Keep an eye on your checking account. Check your account a few times a week, if not once a day, to make sure all of the expenses listed are actually your own. This could help you detect identify theft earlier rather than later.
- Understand when to use your debit card and when not to use it. For instance, it’s safer to use a credit card online, rather than a debit card. Several credit card companies actually allow you to login to your account and retrieve a unique online credit card number, so you don’t even have to use your real number when making online purchase.
- Block the keypad from view when entering your PIN number, and never let a cashier, bank teller, or anyone else do it for you.
- Make sure your ATM transaction is complete and you have received a receipt and taken your card back before leaving any ATM.
Be smart and keep your identity safe!
Perennial Sales LLC