Watch out at gas stations and ATMs for a major threat to your debit or credit card. Skimmers are a device that attaches to the card scanner and records data as you insert your credit or debit card and enter your PIN. Here’s how you can detect and avoid having your credit or debit card skimmed at the ATM or gas pump.
- Make sure the gas pump panel is closed and doesn’t show signs of tampering. Many stations now put security seals over the cabinet panel. If the seal is broken, report it to the attendant inside and use a different pump.
- Take a good look at the card reader. See if it looks different than the others at the gas station. You can try to manually wiggle the card reader before you put in your card. If it moves, report it to the attendant.
- If you use a debit card at the pump, consider running it as a credit card instead of entering your PIN. That way, your PIN is safe and your money can’t be taken immediately from your account. If you can’t run it as credit, cover your hand when entering your PIN. Scammers sometimes use tiny cameras to record PIN entries.
- Remember you can always pay inside rather than at the pump.
- Try to use a gas pump near the front of the store. Crooks are less likely to take the risk of installing a skimmer where they could be easily caught.
- Set up fraud alerts and check your card statements. By checking your credit and debit card transactions frequently, you can quickly spot any fraudulent activity.
As always, we encourage members to contact Family Trust at 803-367-4100, secure chat, or visit a branch if you think your account has been compromised.