Skimming is a modern scam designed to steal your credit card information. Most commonly this is accomplished with the help of devices added to ATM machines and gas pump card readers. The information can be acquired when the card’s magnetic stripe is used on these devices, and sometimes there is even a hidden camera allowing the scammers to record credit card or PIN numbers. The staff at ADS Guards, a trusted provider of professional security guards in San Jose, has 4 tips to help you avoid this type of crime.
1. Check Your Credit Card and Checking Accounts Frequently
Checking your accounts regularly to make sure there are no unauthorized purchases can go a long way to ensuring skimmers who steal your card information won’t be able to use it for long. The main problem with skimmers is people still have physical possession of their credit cards, which means they are often unaware their data has been stolen in the first place. Keeping a sharp eye on your accounts can stop these criminals in their tracks.
2. Make Sure Your Cards Contain EMV Chips
The information on a magnetic strip never changes, but an EMV chip is essentially a small computer chip that allows the card to transmit unique data every time you use it. While not completely foolproof, it can significantly hamper thieves from stealing your data. However, many cards with EMV chips still have a magnetic strip to work retroactively with businesses that have not yet upgraded to chip readers.
3. Use Your Smartphone to Pay Whenever Possible
Smartphone apps like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Android Pay are all a step up in security from magnetic cards. Not only does your phone contain encrypted data, but it is also protected with either a numerical password or fingerprint scanner.
4. Get Cash When Making a Purchase Instead of Using an ATM
Almost any place you can use your debit card offers a cash back option, which is a far safer and more secure way to get cash than an ATM, ensuring your credit card information is not skimmed. Even better is getting cash back from a purchase using your smartphone.
Though the primary function of ADS Guards is providing highly trained San Jose security guards for residential and commercial properties, we are still concerned about helping you keep your personal information secure. For additional tips to prevent skimming and other scams, give us a call at 1-800-794-1550. We hope to hear from you soon.