Card skimming and counterfeit card fraud remains a big problem in South Africa. Criminals are increasingly using sophisticated technologies to catch unsuspecting victims. Below are some of the things you need to know.
Card skimming technology getting smaller – Krebs on security recently released information about a new card skimmer, which is so thin that it can fit into a card slot on any ATM.The device is powered by a lithium coin battery.These devices are typically used in conjunction with a small camera to capture a users PIN, which gives criminals the ability to clone a card and withdraw cash at will.
Stealing your PIN using thermal technology – Armed with a smartphone and a thermal imaging attachment, criminals can easily steal your PIN. Because you leave behind a thermal signature when you press buttons, criminals can use a smartphone with a FLIR ONE thermal imaging attachment to figure out your PIN. Because there is a time lapse between the time you press the first and last buttons, it is easy to figure out what your PIN is. Luckily there is a way to stop criminals from stealing your PIN using this method, just slightly touch some other keys on the keypad.
Handheld card skimming devices – Handheld card skimming devices are widely used by criminals to steal bank card information from victims at ATMs. Criminals typically used social engineering which involves telling a victim they are from a bank to convince them to swipe their cards through a skimming device.An accomplice who is loitering around the ATM then shoulder surfs to steal the victims PIN.The stolen card information is used to manufacture a counterfeit card,which when matched with the PIN is used to make fraudulent transactions.
ATM mounted card skimming devices – ATM mounted card skimming devices work similarly to handheld card skimming devices,but are fitted on an ATM.These devices are difficult to recognise as they are manufactured to match the look of the ATM it is installed on. Before you withdraw money at an ATM, you should always inspect the machine and cover the number pad with your free hand when entering your PIN.