Local police warn the public about “skimming devices”

Local police warn the public about “skimming devices” that target debit and credit cards.

A skimming device is a hidden electronic device used to collect personal information stored on your card, and it records your PIN number to later access funds from your account. The stolen information is then subsequently embedded into a newly manufactured fraudulent card. These devices pop up all over the world, typically at ATMs, gas station pumps, and retailers. Businesses and banks work diligently with law enforcement to catch the criminals.

Benefitting from detection technology, victims are often notified by their banking institution of “unusual activity.” Chip and pin cards have helped catch criminals, because machines will note that the card is missing a chip and may decline the attempted transaction.

Safety Tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
    • Always use ATMs and other devices in well-lit areas.
  • Scrutinize the device you are going to use. Skimming devices are difficult to spot.
    • If your card does not enter a machine smoothly, it may have a skimmer attached.
    • If something seems off, trust your gut. Some skimming devices make the card slots look bulkier than usual or may be loose and easy to pull off.
    • If a skimmer is suspected, notify the business immediately. Working together to stop fraudsters is key.
  • Cover the keypad with your hand or wallet when entering your PIN.
  • Check your statements often. If something looks suspicious, report it to your financial institution immediately.
    • Use the Card Control features in your banking mobile app to shut off your card if you suspect fraudulent activity on your account.
    • Mobile apps often have features to set up spending limits on debit cards.
    • Set up security and transaction Alerts so you can be notified of activity on your accounts via text, push notification or email.

If you suspect your card or account has been compromised, please promptly contact your financial institution. Fraudulent activity can start as simple as a $5 transaction or less, which may go unnoticed at first. Protect yourself by filing a report within 60 days of the fraudulent transaction.

Protecting our clients’ personal and account information is of utmost importance at The Fauquier Bank. If you suspect your card may have been compromised, please call us at 800.638.3798.