Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How fraudsters skim your credit card details

Now day’s card reading device is available to skim the credit card or debit card data. Some time back Mumbai police arrested one person for purchasing card-reading device through online shopping site.

Let us see what is skimming and how it is done.

Skimming is the direct transfer of electronic data from the magnetic strip on a credit card or debit card to a card-reading device.

The skimmed data is then transferred from the reading device onto another plastic card having a magnetic strip on it. With this fraudster can create a card with the same characteristics and use it freely - till identified or caught.

Be careful skimming is illegal.

Generally skimming takes places at petrol stations, restaurants, hotels and such outlets where the swipe terminal is away from your sight.

What are the warning signs of skimming?

A shop assistant when takes your card out of your sight in order to process your transaction then there are full chances your credit or debit card details can be skimmed. In case you are asked to swipe your card through more than one machine. You might notice something suspicious (an attached device) around the card slot on an ATM. You notice a strange or unauthorized transaction in your account.

Safety measures from becoming a victim of skimming:
Keep your PIN safe. You should not disclose your PIN number to anyone. Keep watch on people who try to offer “help” at an ATM. Examine the ATM carefully before using it. If it doesn't look right, don’t use it. If an ATM has any unusual signage, don't use it.

In case your card gets stuck in the ATM machine after the transaction or after pressing ‘Cancel’, contact your card issuing authority immediately. Keep a check on your bank account statements to ensure that there are no unusual withdrawals.

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