Debit card skimming machines have been installed at Virginia Credit Union ATMs, which means ATM users should be on high alert (video below).
To install the skimming machines, criminals place a device on the ATM that collects card data. Then, the data is used to imitate a debit card, which allows criminals to withdraw funds from a stranger’s bank account.
The worst part? Skimming devices can fit over the ATM’s card reader, so that the hidden cameras can record your pin number.
Rebecca Gershowitz from Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions spoke to Fox News about a few ways to avoid such theft.
“Your front line resource is checking your bank account on a regular basis and checking your credit card on a regular basis,” Gershowitz said.
Instead of withdrawing from an ATM, getting cash back from a store can also be a more secure way of obtaining money.
Other ways to avoid types of credit card theft is to use cash instead of a card whenever possible, according to Gershowitz. If a person does choose to use a debit card, however, it's important to use it only on secured websites.
“If you know you’re not going to be opening any new lines of credit or accounts, contact the credit bureau and put a freeze on your credit report,” Gershowitz suggested. “No new accounts can be opened without your knowledge.”
If a card holder suspects that their information has been compromised, Gershowitz also advised that they change their pin number, review suspicious activity on their accounts, and contact their bank.
Fox News reported these ways to spot an ATM skimming device:
- A skimmer is often times no bigger than a deck of cards and blends right in with ATM, looking like a piece of plastic that belongs on the machine. Make sure your ATM doesn't have wires hanging from it, or look like it's been tampered with -- before you go to use it.
- Police say you should make sure the slot to read your card is the same color as the rest of the machine and look for any nuts or bolts out of place.
- A card might not go into the ATM smoothly, or there may be something added to the machine. In that case, don't use the card and notify the bank right away.
Photo Credit: Fox News, NBC12, WikiCommons