Suppose you bought a credit card for yourself but after a few days you gotta know that it’s not you who is using the credit card but someone else.
Seems scary right?
Nowadays credit card skimming has been very common and people who are less aware get caught in this scam and bear a heavy loss.
Now what exactly is a credit card skimming?
Card skimming is an illegal way by which thieves collect data from your card to make fraudulent transactions. A card skimmer is set up on the card reader devices to read the card data and transfer it to the other person who would then gain the whole access to use your credit card.
It reads the information stored in the magnetic stripe of your cards such as card number, expiration date, cardholder name.
It can be more harmful to you than it seems to be
- Your data could be transmitted to other countries
- The “card-not-present” Fraud could happen
- The criminal could use your card to take heavy loans for himself.
So is there any way we could protect ourselves from card skimmers?
Well, this is what we are here for.
You can also use Namso to generate Virtual Credit Cards for free to use in Trial offers online. By this, you can avoid unnecessary card exposures.
Let us discuss some ways by which you could protect yourself from card skimmers
Using suspicious ATMs
Never use ATMs that are either outside the city or seem suspicious to you. Not every ATM in the city outskirts is fraudulent but in most cases they are. Always try to use ATMs that are in front of a bank or have a CCTV camera. The chances of Card skimming in ATMs near a bank are near to zero. Never visit such ATMs which have less number of people visiting it. It might be a scam.
Try to pay inside the shop
Never pay to any other machine outside the shop in order to save some time. If you are at a gas station get down from the vehicle and walk inside the shop to pay. Saving some minutes for the money you would lose would not be worth it.
Set up a card limit
If your bank offers you to set up a daily card limit. Do not hesitate to do so. Setting up a daily card limit for a single transaction or in 24 hours would allow you to keep a check and if anyone other than you exceeds the daily transaction limit you can report the activity then and there and immediate action would be taken.
Before making a transaction from any machine make sure that it does not have any signs of tampering. Look for scratches near the opening of the card processor machine.
If it does, then it’s better not to make transactions from that machine because it might have tampered.
Never share your card pin, either be it your family, friends, or any other close one. It is highly advisable to keep the card pin confidential.
Never write your pin on any paper or notebook in order to remember it. Your card pin is highly confidential, so let it be.
Keep a check on your bank statement
It’s better to keep an eye on your monthly bank statement. Look for every transaction that took place and try to remember whether that transaction was done by you or not. This will help you to identify whether your card is being used only by your or is there something suspicious going on.
Go for EMV cards
EMV cards are cards with computer chips. Rather than swiping your card into the machine for transaction with a magnetic stripe, it is better to insert the card and enter the details and then remove it when the transaction is done. Unlike the magnetic strip which stores unchanged information, the EMV card’s data changes after every transaction. It could be a safer option but not 100% secure.
You can turn off your card
The company providing cards has a certain software which allows the consumer to turn it “on” Or “off”. When you see anything suspicious happening you can turn your card off. You can have access by asking out your bank if they provide such services or not. You can turn your card on at certain places such as shops and turn it off for e- shopping. So this could be a better option to choose.
Always hide your pin
While entering the pin make sure that you hide it with your other hand. Look for the camera and turn the other side while entering the pin. When you are outside ATM, wait for your turn to come and do not rush. Wait until the ATM gets empty and then do your transactions.
An unrecognized store
Avoid going to any of the stores which seems suspicious to you. Stores with unrecognized brands or which are located on highways have high chances of skimming. It’s better not to go cashless in such stores and avoid using your credit or debit cards there.
There might be hidden card readers
Yes, you heard it right. There might be hidden card readers behind the machine or somewhere else which are placed to gather your card information. So it’s better to keep an eye before entering your pin and doing a transaction. Look around carefully and see if there is something suspicious around. If you find something like that you can report it to the bank or the guard present there.
Get your bank notified while moving out
If you are planning to move outside your country. It’s better to get your bank informed. It would help them to check whether the further transactions are made by you or not and if not then they can take immediate action.
Download skimmer scanner apps
There are certain skimmer scanner apps present on play store and app store which help you to identify the skimming happening with your cards. However, always be careful before trusting any app and read reviews of other people before installing it.
Pressurize the bank for resolving your problem
Even if you face any difficulty, without the help of your bank it won’t be possible for you to get it resolved. So keep constant pressure on your bank or the company through which you issued your credit card to resolve the problem that you are facing.
Always stay aware
Always try to stay aware of your surroundings and the people around you. It can also be possible that skimmers are inside your house. Always try to take precautions to avoid an unnecessary hassle in the future.
Always remember to avoid using your card if you feel something fishy. There could be a lot of options to cure the mistake when things go wrong but ” Prevention is always better than cure” Remember that!