Avoid ATM Card Fraud

 

ATM Card Safety

A compromised Debit (ATM) card allows a crook to steal hundreds of dollars from your bank account. It is even possible to drain your account to zero. Notify your bank and file a police report if you are a victim. Banks generally deny being vulnerable, so contact Castro Patrol (info@castropatrol.org) with details if you encounter an unsecure ATM in the Castro so we can work with the bank and civil authorities.

Skimming
An electronic device may be placed over a legitimate terminal, such a gas pump, point of sale (POS) terminal in a store, or ATM to capture the data from the magnetic strip on the back. “Chip” transactions cannot be skimmed but some merchants have not yet moved to chip terminals. Contactless payments (ApplePay, Samsung Pay, etc.) are the most secure.

Some waiters or bartenders use small skimmers to copy the card when they turn their back or take your card away from your table. Credit cards are safer as fraud does not hit your bank account directly and it is often faster to reverse fraudulent transactions once you notify the bank.

To protect yourself:

  • Check for extra devices at the card slot on a gas pump or ATM
  • Use the “chip” not the mag strip when paying at a store
  • Always use a CREDIT card not your ATM card in restaurants or bars
  • Check your statement every month and notify the bank of any fraudulent transactions

Shoulder Surfing
Some ATMs ask, “Would you like another transaction?” at the end of your session and requires the PIN (Personal Identification Number) but not the card for more transactions. A crook near the ATM observed you entering your PIN and then uses it to retrieve cash if you don’t close out the transaction with a “NO” response.

To protect yourself:

  • Look around for someone watching your actions before using the ATM
  • Shield the keypad when entering your PIN
  • Read the screen to confirm the transaction closes, and answer “NO” to any additional transactions
  • Check your statement every month and notify the bank of any fraudulent transactions
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