Police are warning Canadians about the latest card skimming scam, which uses a bogus ATM keypad to steal your PIN.
According to the Better Business Bureau and Alberta Motor Association, card skimming costs Canadians over $400 million annually and, because card skimming machines are inexpensive, thieves are becoming more adept at obtaining information.
In some cases, thieves or accomplices can swap out the entire PIN pad with one that captures data, which only takes seconds to accomplish the swap out; while others use hidden cameras attached near a machine.
Here are top 3 tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim; keeping in mind the 3 Rs - Report, Report, Report:
- Protect your PIN - when entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand to prevent any cameras from catching your digits. If the keypad looks suspicious, report it to the institution.
- Keep an eye on your statements - the most vigilant person can still fall victim to ATM skimmers, so it’s important to always keep a close eye on your accounts, particularly the itemized breakdown of charges and debits. Immediately report any suspicious activity on your account.
- Report fraud immediately - report any suspicious looking ATMs or point of sale machines to authorities. Consumer protections for debit cards vary, but depend largely on when you report the fraudulent activity, so sooner is always better. If you wait too long to report the fraud, your bank account could be cleaned out and you may not be reimbursed.
For more information on how to protect yourself as a consumer and a business, go to www.bbb.org/canada