ATM card skimming is on the rise, which occurs when a credit/debit card skimmer is attached to an ATM machine or other card swiping terminal. Card skimming devices continue to be identified all over the United States. ATMs and gas pumps are popular targets for card skimming devices. Since August 2015, over 70 skimming devices have been located at gas stations throughout Michigan alone. During 2015, there was a 546 percent increase in ATM skimmer incidents and this trend has continued through 2016.
What is Card skimming?
On the back of debit and credit cards there is a magnetic strip that stores the information needed for the card to make purchases or cash withdrawals. By placing a copying device on the machine (a skimmer) the criminals obtain enough information, including your PIN number, to create new counterfeit cards. The counterfeit cards are then used for fraudulent purchases or cash withdrawals from your account.
What Can I do?
ATMs and gas pumps are the most common targets of skimmers. Before using these machines, ask yourself if it looks like it could be compromised and examine the machine closely for anything that appears suspicious. Some things to look for would be unusual wiring outside of the machine or loose plastic pieces attached to the card reader. To protect our members from losses, Zeal Credit Union will deactivate any cards that we suspect have been skimmed, and we will immediately issue a new card.
If you suspect a card reader is a skimming device, contact your local police department. If you know you have swiped your card through a skimming device, contact us immediately at 800-321-8570, ext. 300.