There is a rash of calls to the Broward County public, telling people that there is a problem with their Visa Debit Card and that it has been frozen. The call also indicates that in order to unlock your debit card you must enter your card number, pin number, and security code on the back of card.
This is a FRADULENT CALL. DO NOT GIVE OUT ANY INFORMATION.
AS A REMINDER: THE POMPANO BEACH CITY EMPLOYEE CREDIT UNION FRAUD DEPARTMENT WOULD NEVER REQUEST THIS INFORMATION.
What it is:
Skimming is the theft of credit, ATM or debit card data during a legitimate transaction.
How it works:
There are low-tech and high-tech ways to perform skimming.
In the low-tech version, a dishonest employee simply writes down or photocopies the information on the card while out of sight of the victim. The cardholder's name, card number and expiration date are often enough to make online purchases.
A high-tech version may involve a small electronic device known as a "skimmer," which can be kept in the perpetrator's pocket. While out of sight of the victim, the thief simply swipes the card through the skimmer, and then later uploads the information to his or her home computer.
Sometimes skimmers can be placed over a device such as an ATM or gas pump, and the victim's card passes through the skimmer as well as the legitimate device.
A thief in possession of a skimmer may also purchase a card encoder, which is connected to his or her computer, and blank plastic card stock. This enables the criminal to make counterfeit cards and use them to make purchases in stores.
How to protect yourself:
The best defense against skimming is to pay attention. Before you swipe your card through any device, such as an ATM or gas pump, if something doesn't look right or there appears to be an extra device attached to the machine, do not use it.
Keep your card within sight at all times. Restaurants are an especially easy venue for skimming, as your card is often in the hands of a waitperson and out of your sight for several minutes, while you pay for your meal. If possible, stay with your card while paying, or simply use cash in these situations.
Finally, check your credit card and checking account statements closely, and immediately report any suspicious charges to your financial institution. Read your monthly statements, but also consider checking your accounts online between statements.