What is debit card skimming?
Card skimming occurs when an illegal device is attached to an ATM or debit machine terminal to capture a debit card’s magnetic stripe information and PIN (personal identification number). This fraudulent technology is often sophisticated and imperceptible by machine users. PINs are subsequently retrieved by the criminal peering over the machine user’s shoulder, by secret video-tape or through some other information gathering technology.
Once the criminals have captured the magnetic stripe information and corresponding PINs, they then create a duplicate ATM card that looks just like a debit card, for use at ATMs and retail outlets. The cards appear to be legitimate, and retailers have no way of knowing that they are fake.
Criminals may wait a few days with the fake card, and then go on a spending “blitz”. This usually happens on weekends or late at night when financial institutions are closed and account holders are not monitoring their accounts. This enables criminals to make multiple withdrawals and purchases before the cards can be cancelled.
What can I do to protect myself against skimming?
- Use your hand, body, or wallet to shield your PIN when you are conducting transactions at an ATM or point of sale location
- Never let your debit card out of sight when conducting a transaction at a point of sale location
- Never disclose your PIN to anyone or write it down in a decipherable manner
- Regularly check your bank statements and account balances to verify all transactions
- If your ATM card is lost, stolen, or you suspect tampering, cancel your card immediately and report your suspicion to your financial institution
What is Cambrian doing to protect members against skimming?
Cambrian is the first Credit Union in Manitoba to adopt Chip card technology. Microchips embedded in new Cambrian MemberCards store the same information as the card’s magnetic stripe. Chips make debit card transactions more secure because the information on the chip is nearly impossible to duplicate. As more and more ATMs and retail outlets convert to chip technology, the use of magnetic stripes will become less frequent, making safe payments even safer. All Cambrian members should have a chip card by the end of 2010 and all retail outlets will be chip compliant by December 31, 2015.
If Cambrian suspects that member cards have been compromised, those cards will be disabled to prevent any potential loss, and members will be contacted. Any member losses that have been determined to be fraudulent will be reimbursed by Cambrian Credit Union.
MemberCard Withdrawal Limits
Daily withdrawal and point of sale purchase limits have long since been in place for all Cambrian members. These limits help protect member accounts by limiting the dollar amount that can be withdrawn or spent from an account each day, thereby limiting the dollar amount that can be fraudulently lost from that account.
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