When you go out of town on vacation or on a business trip, it’s common sense to be careful to keep your credit or debit card information safe. However, what happens when you get home and realize that your card has actually been compromised? What causes this and how could you have prevented it from happening?
These days, a method known as “skimming” is becoming more and more common to steal your credit card information and PIN. Thieves attach devices known as “skimmers” to legitimate credit or debit card readers. They’re frequently found in restaurants, gas stations, and even ATMs. After a skimmer has read your information, it’s easy for thieves to use it to make purchases or get cash out of the ANTM. Since you still have your physical card, it may take days or even weeks for you to realize that unauthorized purchases are being made.
How Can I Prevent Credit Card Skimming?
As skimming becomes more widely used and known, police have been able to catch more and more skimmers in the act. However, it still can and does occur. Take a look at these ways to help protect yourself against credit card skimming:
- Learn what a credit card skimmer looks like.
Take a look at these photos by Brian Krebs, an expert on the topic, to help you identify these tiny devices when you’re out and about.
- Take a few seconds to examine an ATM or credit card reader before you use it.
One of the most common ways skimmers steal your information is to place a camera near the ATM to steal your personal identification number. They’ll also place a fake keypad on top of the real one to record your input. Check that everything feels sturdy and looks normal before using the ATM or card reader.
- Cover the keypad with your hand while typing your PIN.
This common-sense tactic will keep any cameras from seeing what you’re typing.
There’s no way to fully avoid identity theft. Unfortunately, it is a growing problem that can happen to anyone. However, Wachter Insurance does offer Identity Recovery Coverage to cover your lost wages, legal fees, and more. Contact us today for a free quote!
Wachter Insurance Agency, Inc.
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