Sunday, February 7, 2010

Scam Alert: Debit Card Skimming

It’s becoming a familiar scenario: Soon after filling up at the gas pump, a motorist learns that his bank account has been emptied.

What happened? Another case of “skimming,” in which crooks place a portable card-reading device—readily available over the Internet—inside the pump. When the customer inserts his debit card and enters the required personal identification number, the device captures both the data from the card’s magnetic stripe and the PIN.

Skimming was first reported by Scam Alert four years ago. But back then, skimmer devices were most often used at ATMs, usually in convenience stores, airports and shopping centers. In those locations, unlike a bank lobby, there were no cameras watching as crooks installed their equipment: a card reader that fits neatly atop the ATM’s card slot and a tiny camera to record the customer entering a PIN on the keypad.

Later, the devices are retrieved, and the stolen data is used to create a duplicate card to raid the victim’s bank account. Read the entire article.

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