We’ve all heard about “skimming.” That’s when you use your ATM card and some scam artist has inserted an additional piece of card-reading hardware that will steal you ATM card information. The people that monitor this sort of thing say incidents of skimming were up 500% in 2015 over the previous year.
Here’s how you can reduce the risk of someone getting you valuable information:
- Stick with the Chip – Digital chips are harder to hack (not impossible, but harder). Try to avoid using card readers where you still have to swipe the card's magnetic strip.
- Use a Bank Machine – While not perfect, bank ATMs are more secure. They are better maintained and have 24/7 surveillance cameras. Machines at gas stations and convenience stores account for the majority of card information theft.
- Inspect Before Swiping – If the machine doesn’t accept your card smoothly, walk away. Newer machines also have a flashing light in the card slot. If you don’t see one or it’s partially obscured, you might want to find another machine.
- Always Check Your Card Statements – Make there are no unusual or unfamiliar charges.
- Talk with Your Bank about Alternative Solutions – You might open a separate account with a smaller amount of money just for ATM purchases or you can lower the daily limit for ATM withdrawals.