Credit card fraud has been on the rise for the last couple of years and it is just getting worse. With most people having at least one credit or debit card everybody can be a target. What can you do to protect yourself, your money and your cards against card skimming?
What is credit card skimming? It is a type of credit card theft where criminals, with the help of a small device called skimmer, steal credit card information during a transaction. When a credit or a debit card is swiped through a skimmer, the device steals and stores the information accumulated in the card’s magnetic stripe – its number, the expiration date and the owner’s name. The skimmers are most commonly placed on ATM machines where crooks can also place a small camera nearby to record entering your PIN. With these they have all of the needed information to make charges online, to produce cloned cards or to withdraw cash from your account.
Card frauds are a growing problem
To avoid swiping the cards and to minimize the possibility of skimming (to keep customers information safe) companies started embedding microchips on them. But the scammers have also found a technique for the chips to work in their favour. They secretly insert a paper-thin, card-size shim containing an embedded microchip and flash into the card slot. When a customer inserts their card into the machine, their information is stolen and then stored on that microchip already in the machine.
Experts predict that this kind of fraud will remain a growing problem for years to come. The numbers of cyber criminality increase at an alarming rate every year in USA and Europe. In 2014 and 2015 first mayor breaches were reported and they certainly were not just a brief trend (statistics show a 546 percent increase in ATM skimming attacks in USA from 2014 to 2015), with criminal activity being the highest at ATMs positioned in stores and not at banks. Countries at the top of the list with the most cases of card frauds are Mexico, China, India and USA.
How can you protect yourself?
But it is not just the scammers that are getting better at their job – also banks and credit card companies are able to detect suspicious transactions faster, but at the end of the day it is a lot better and faster if you pay attention to what is going on with your cards. Victims of scamming are often unaware of the theft until they notice unauthorised charges on their accounts. So what can you do to protect yourself? First of all you have to be on top of your accounts – check them and report anything that seems out of the ordinary. Check the AMT before using it or at least cover your hands while typing in your PIN.
With more and more cards being equipped with RFID chips that enable contactless exchange of data, which can be stolen by criminals, you must think about how to disable them from getting that information. Best way to do that is with the help of a Privise© Blocking Card and its innovative interference signal that protects your entire wallet. It is a small, 1 mm thin black card with the dimensions of a conventional credit card. It fits in any purse and ensures optimal RFID protection for all of the cards in there. The RFID blocking card reliably protects against 13.56 MHz (standard frequency) in a radius of up to 5cm. Unauthorized RFID skimming is prevented.