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How to Protect Yourself from ATM Skimming?

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ATM skimming is by far the recent and most alarming threat to your bank balance. When you are about to draw some amount out and you get an alarming message showing that you are out of cash; it feels like someone is just attacked your back. But what to do and how to protect yourself from ATM skimming; I’m going to tell every point in great detail. But take a pause here.

Read our previous article on What are the laws available in Pakistan on ATM skimming? to get a full insight of what ATM skimming is.

ATM Skimming

It is like an identity theft for debit cards. It takes two separate components to work – a skimmer and a card reader. When you place your card on the card reader, you are actually sliding it through the counterfeit read, which scans and stores all the information on the magnetic strip.

But how the ATM skimmers can get your PIN number? Well, that’s not a tricky thing to play with you for skimmers as they are skilled in this. They place tiny spy cameras that are positioned in a direction to get a clear view of the keypad and thus they record all the ATM’s pin actions (Walters).

Some ATM skimmers deploy fake keypads in lieu of cameras to capture PIN codes. Skimming keypads are designed much like the original one and replace over it like a glove; just like the card skimmers fit over the ATM’s true card slot. If you notice any odd protrude from the edges of the keypad or any odd change in color or frame of the machine; then immediately report to the respective bank.

How to Protect Yourself?

The main thing to create a shield around you is to be vigilant enough of what you are doing and are going to do. Now let’s see which the key points are you all should know about before using your ATM card.

  1. Scrutinize the ATM

First of all, do an overall check of the color scheme and machine structure. This should be the same as every typical ATM machine. You need to check card slider by holding and shaking the machine and if found anything strange, this might be a skimmer. Report to the police nearby and verify the system before using it. Especially before using your debit card. Always check the system on all place, whenever you are about to draw an amount.

  1. Cover the Keypad While Entering your Pin

By covering the keypad before entering your pin, you are actually hiding the code from spy cameras and onlookers to get an eye on it.

  1. Check Your Bank and Card Statements

Somehow, if someone gets your information, you only have 2 days – in case of debit card – to report the case in order to get relief from being charged. But for a credit card, you then have 60 days to report the fraudulent activity.

  1. Be Choosy

Avoid using ATMs at stores and general places as these are not regularly monitored and thus can be prone to get tampered easily by anyone.

  1. Set up Online or Mobile Banking App

It is the handiest way to have an eye on your transactions. If, ever, you have any suspicion of being fallen into the trap of skimmer, just check through the online banking or mobile banking app and get rid of all worries.

  1. Transaction Alerts

You need to set up the transaction balance alerts to check your account often. It can be set up in online and mobile banking apps. Purchase alerts can be set up for your debit and credit card via Visa.

  1. Busy ATMs

If you are at a place where you don’t know the authenticity of ATM and there’s no way to look for other options then you should use the one on busy roads with security cameras and lots of foot traffic. They are less likely to be skimmed.

  1. Bottom line

If you have gone through all these steps and are successfully made a transaction, even then ATM skimming can happen. For this, you need to check your transaction off and on and if see any unauthorized transaction, immediately report the respective bank to limit your liability.

Take Action On

The siren call of ATM skimmers is heard when you get to know that you are out of balance. In this phase, you don’t know what to do at first place. But if this happens, you immediately need to take an action to inform the respective bank and let them know what has happened in their system under their noses.

Cybercrime is full of scams and spams; a swarm from where victims can never be on the same track again as they were before this cyber attack. Cybercriminals always hunt for bigger deals from where they can get high profit. Hence having a very huge amount in your bank can also land you in the tricks of ATM skimmers.

Besides opting all the solutions against ATM skimming, you also need to take extra care of your transaction activities at first. Reporting is a must in case of this incidence but prevention is more important as

Prevention is better than cure.

About the author

Zeeshan Riaz

Mr. CH. Zeeshan Riaz is the founder of The CyberForm. Prior to starting the firm, he was working as IT Operations Director at a Multinational Company. He has been working in the IT sector Since 2010.

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