How to Protect Yourself from Skimming Fraud

Credit and debit card skimming fraud has been on the rise, with gas pump terminals and ATMs prime targets. In 2017 alone, the San Antonio Police Department has seized more than 70 skimmers from gas stations and ATMs in the area, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

How Skimming Works

Skimming involves stealing debit or credit card numbers by placing an illegal card reading device on an ATM or gas pump. Criminals then use the stolen information to access the victim’s account. Although more financial institutions are issuing EMV or “chip cards,” retailers are still in the process of converting to chip card terminals. As a result, most cards still have the magnetic stripe on the back, leaving them vulnerable to skimming.

What Can You Do?

Skimming can sound scary, but do not fret! Here are some safety tips to help protect you from becoming a victim.

Be aware: Before using an ATM or gas pump, always check the card reader for foreign attachments, or evidence of one previously installed. Look for any damages, tape residue or unusual accessories. If you notice any suspicious activity at an RBFCU ATM, DO NOT remove any attachments and report them immediately by calling us at 1-888-984-3333 (you can leave a voicemail after hours).

Protect your PIN: Never carry your PIN or share it with others. While entering your PIN, cover the keyboard with your other hand to shield hidden cameras or lurking criminal eyes. Protecting your PIN will prevent unauthorized use of your card.

Stay close to the gas station: Avoid the gas pump furthest away from the gas station. Pay inside if anything appears suspicious or just doesn’t feel right. Inspect the key lock on the dispenser panel for scrapes or signs of bending, and closely examine the sticker around the dispenser panel; if it is ripped or peeled off, DO NOT use the pump and notify the attendant immediately.

How RBFCU Protects You

To safeguard our members, RBFCU has established procedures to regularly inspect RBFCU ATMs for skimming devices. We have also installed anti-skimming software on all RBFCU ATMs that detects foreign objects and disturbances of magnetic stripe readers. Unusual activity or devices should be reported immediately by contacting us at 1-888-984-3333 (you can leave a voicemail after hours).

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