Alert! Debit and Credit Card Scams at ATM or POS are on the Rise
What to do at an ATM
- NEVER share your PIN and if you believe it is compromised, report immediately to your financial institution and ask that they block the account until you are able to visit a branch. Note, it is the account that should be blocked and not the card. The scammers do not need your card, only your account.
- Be mindful of your surroundings before entering the machine.
- Do not use if there are suspicious persons lurking nearby. They usually insert reading devices (can include a small camera) in the room before you enter. After you leave, images/information captured is used to access your card.
- Where possible, avoid ATMs in lonely areas or for which there is no security present, especially after dark.
- If possible, try to maintain at least 2 accounts, with only one linked to the debit card. Keep minimal balance in the account that is linked to the card and transfer as needs be.
What to do at a Point of Sale (POS)
- Always look around for the camera and note the location. Where it appears that the camera is pointing directly at the POS terminal, use your body (if possible) to block the view.
- Cover the PIN pad when entering your code
- Try to enter your PIN with a ‘fluid motion’ of your fingers without moving your wrist. That is because the position of the numbers on the keypads for all terminals are the same (similar to a calculator) and the movement of your wrist can indicate which numbers were selected.
- Do not let your credit card out of your sight. If the cashier is behind a glass/closed door, ask that you be allowed to see clearly when your card is being swiped. Scammers only need your full card number, expiration date, full name and CVV code (card verification value) to pay for goods online, all of which are on the credit card. I know of some persons who blot out the CVV code for this reason. If you choose this course of action, ensure that you know/record the code in a safe place just in the event you need to shop online.
And, remember to monitor your online accounts regularly to detect unauthorized access early. You work too hard to have someone just steal your money.
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