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How to Protect Your ATM/Debit Card from ATM Skimming
In today’s fast-paced world, almost everyone is in a hurry to complete daily and weekly tasks, including getting “fast cash” from an ATM to quickly filling up their tanks at the gas station. Using an ATM/Debit Card makes these errands quick and easy.
While an ATM/Debit Card is designed to make our lives more convenient, ATMs have increasingly become a target for criminals. ATM skimming is one of the ways criminals commit fraud with your ATM/Debit Card and steal your information.
According to Bankrate.com, theft from ATM skimming is approaching $1 billion annually. Below is more information about ATM Skimming and tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of ATM skimming.
What Is ATM Skimming? Criminals attach devices onto ATM machines in order to copy an ATM/Debit Card number, the information encoded on the magnetic strip and even the Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Risk Reduction and Protection
What is Identity Theft?
It’s likely that you have heard about it a lot lately. Recent government statistics show that more than 7 million adults were victims of identity theft last year. That equals 19,178 people a day, 700 per hour, or 13.3 a minute, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in San Diego, California. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that identity theft is the number one source of consumer complaints and costs the average victim more than $1,000 to recover their identity.
Identity theft is a crime in which someone takes your personal information (such as your name or social security number) in an effort to steal from your existing accounts, open fraudulent accounts in your name, or obtain a loan using your credit history.
How to Prevent Identity Theft!
Unfortunately, identity theft can happen to anyone, even you. The easiest way to control identity theft is to prevent it from happening. Here are some tips to reduce the likeliness of becoming a victim:
The FTC provides an overview of identity fraud and suggestions on ways to protect your personal information.
What To Do if You Suspect You’re A Victim of Identity Theft
If you become a victim of identity theft, there are three steps you should take immediately!
“Phishing” is a high-tech internet scam where individuals receive emails from sources falsely claiming to be legitimate companies in an attempt to obtain personal and financial information. The scams usually begin with an email telling you that you urgently need to address/update a matter in one of your financial accounts. In a recent report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a trade association that includes law enforcement officials, showed huge growth in phishing scams. From November 2003 to April 2004, email attacks reported to the group jumped from 28 to 1,125 per month. It has been reported that 57 million Americans were exposed to phishing attacks last year.
Here are some tips to help avoid being a phishing victim:
Other Phishing Fraud
PayPal and eBay phishing emails – these emails ask for account information to “verify” recent account activity, some may include legitimate looking warnings of possible fraudulent purchases
The FTC provides information on “phishing” and how it works.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns computer users about pop-up windows, phony web sites and fraudulent emails that attempt to trick you into revealing confidential personal and/or financial information. These scams usually involve a pop-up window or email link directing you to a fraudulent web site that looks legitimate. Once you’re redirected, you’re asked for personal and private financial information that is then in turn used to commit fraud.
What is a Pop-Up Window? This is generally an ad that appears in small browser windows that “pop-up” over or under the window you are viewing. Most pop-ups are simply advertisements, some may also contain “Trojan horse”* programs similar to a computer virus.
Phony Web Sites A phony, or fraudulent, web site usually resembles a legitimate financial institution or other trusted organization. These sites use an organization’s web site graphics and logos; however, they designed and set up in an attempt to steal your personal information. A common technique to tempt you to a fraudulent web site is through “spam”** email.
Here are some tips to help protect your First Financial accounts and personal information from fraudulent pop-up ads and phony web sites:
*“Trojan horse” – A destructive program that masquerades as a benign application. Unlike viruses, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves but they can be just as destructive. One of the most dangerous types of a Trojan horse is a program that claims to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses onto your computer.
**“Spam” – Unsolicited “junk” email sent to large numbers of people to promote products or services
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