No matter where our money is, there is always a risk of theft. How can this happen? What techniques do thieves use?
Over time, our society began to gain more and more confidence in banking institutions. New technologies, such as account service via the Internet or Pay Pass payments, have been adopted with a certain distance. Despite this, the percentage of people who are afraid of using new products is much smaller than the number of supporters of all technological banking innovations. We are happy to use tools that bring comfort.
Along with the technological development of banking systems, there has also been the development of crime directed in the same direction. The theft of money from a bank account via a card has become the main target of thieves. How can a robber steal our money? It’s simpler than we think.
Theft by scanning ATM cards
Theft of money from a bank account via a card is possible by scanning the data from it and uploading it directly to a homemade badge with a magnetic strip.
Skimming (the method of stealing money from our account) consists in installing an ATM module copying data from our card and a special keyboard to read the PIN code or a small camera enabling tracking the PIN code entered by the victim. A thief needs data such as:
- the card number
- its expiration date
- service code necessary for proper data exchange with the ATM
- pin code
When he becomes the owner of this information, he uploads it all to his own “ATM”, which from the moment the data is installed, behaves just like our real payment card. From now on, the thief can withdraw all cash using any ATM.
In such cases, our cash is paid outside Poland, in countries such as: Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Romania, Brazil etc. It makes it very difficult to detect the person responsible for this act.
Left payment terminals
Card scanning is possible not only with the participation of an ATM and a suitable module, but also a payment terminal in any store. Fortunately, this method of skimming is more difficult because the criminal has to swap terminals in the given place.
The thief’s terminal is equipped with a card data scanner and a PIN code reader. It looks identical to the products of the companies responsible for the delivery of terminals, so it is difficult to recognize a real from a fake device.
What to do if your account is stolen?
When we fall victim to skimming, we should do the following:
- Immediately after seeing a strange transfer, you need to report the case to the bank and ask to block the transaction. If we can detect the case quite early, we have a chance that the money will not leave our account.
- If the transaction is successful, we should file a complaint to the bank and demonstrate that this transfer was not made by us.
- The most important thing is to immediately report the matter to the police, because the theft protocol may be required when the complaint is accepted by the bank.
If, in fact, this transfer is considered a manifestation of theft, the bank will return the equivalent of the lost capital to us.
How to protect our money from skimming?
It is enough to implement several changes and habits:
- Use only popular ATMs. This will allow you to remember their appearance, and it will give you confidence if someone has sometimes “rummaged” with a given device.
- When entering the PIN, always cover the keyboard with your hand in such a way as to prevent any suspected keys from being pressed.
- Limit the number of daily withdrawals and their amount to your preferences. This will allow you to secure larger amounts on your account.
- Activate the service which notifies you by SMS about each transaction made using the card.
- Get into the habit of checking your account balance every day. This will allow you to react quickly in the event of “strange payouts”.