Credit cards have made life very convenient for us, allowing us to pay for things instantly without having to carry around cash all the time. Unfortunately, thieves have caught up with the times and there are plenty of ways to steal your information (and your money) using special devices known as skimmers.
A credit card manufacturer called Ingenico recently created a handy guide on how to identify credit card skimmers in standard (Ingenico iSC250) terminals. This is incredibly useful information that we felt everyone should have.
Skimming terminals are significantly larger than normal.
A skimmer is generally longer and wider than the terminal itself, which is the easiest way to identify fraudulent devices.
No button lights.
A skimming device often blocks out the light that illuminates the buttons on the terminal.
Green LED light is blocked.
Much like the buttons on the terminal, a fraudulent device will often fail to illuminate the green transaction light.
Skimmers often get in the way of the magnetic strip, which results in a greater frequency of operation errors. This slows down the normal working of the terminal, so if a terminal is consistently operating slower than it should, there's a good chance it's been tampered with.
No stylus attached.
All payment terminals have an attached stylus for clients to sign with after using their card. A skimmer, however, doesn't allow room for a stylus.
Tips to protect your money
- The best way to protect yourself from fraud is to have a prepaid debit card with the amount you need for the purchase.
- Connect to your bank's SMS alert system to quickly find out about fraudulent activity.
- Set cash withdrawal and spending limits so criminals can't empty you out.
- If you've lost your card, call your bank immediately to block it.
- It's always a good idea to find out about your bank/card's insurance policies so that you can have some extra protection from fraudulent activity.
- Whenever you use your card in a store, do your best to always be present when the card is being swiped - don't let someone take it away from you.
- Read the receipts carefully after paying with your card.
Remember to SHARE this useful information with all your family and friends.
H/T: Bright Side | Ingenico