ATM / Debit Card Theft
ATM and debit cards continue to be popular offerings for both our personal and business customers. They are a fast, convenient way to access cash and make payments directly from your Texas Heritage Bank account. The benefits of our ATM and debit cards are known and appreciated by our customers.
What you may not know are the risks that come with holding an ATM or debit card. A wide variety of scams can be perpetrated and the scams are becoming more prevalent. As your hometown bank, we wanted you to be aware of these risks and let you know what you can do to protect yourself.
How Fraud Occurs
In order for fraud to occur, a thief needs both your Personal ID number and the magnetic stripe information on the back of your card. If your card is stolen or duplicated, the thief has to find some way to get your PIN. Common methods used to steal or duplicate cards and obtain the PIN include:
- Easily Identified PINs - Your purse or wallet is stolen and the thief finds your PIN written down somewhere close to your card, or, successfully tries a commonly used PIN, such as your birth date, based on information found in your wallet.
- Surf and Pick Pocket - A thief watches as you enter the PIN and subsequently distracts you and steals your debit card.
- Card Jam - Various devices are used to jam your card in the ATM machine. After your card becomes jammed, a helpful stranger suggests that you try to input your PIN a few times, but the card remains stuck. After you leave, they remove your card and have your PIN.
- Skim and Clone - There have been cases of equipment being set up at a business to illegally collect your PIN and card information. For example, when you hand over your card to make a purchase, the card is run through a device that sends your information to the financial institution. The person then swipes the card a second time to record the information that allows them to make a duplicate card. At the same time, a camera records your PIN information.
- Bogus Machines - A bogus machine, that replaces the real PIN Pad, lifts your card and PIN information and issues a transaction receipt but does not actually send the transaction to the bank. The implicated employee covers your purchase by putting cash in the register so that the owner is unaware of any fraud since the store's books balance. At a future date, the employee uses the stolen data to create a card to empty the funds from your bank account. The evidence of the fraud could be that you have a transaction receipt (if indeed you received one) for a purchase but the purchase does not appear on your bank statement.
- Phishing - You receive an unsolicited email that appears to come from a bank, governmental agency or legitimate organization. The email uses urgent language (like "requires immediate attention") to entice readers to respond to the email and provide their card number and PIN. The thieves then use the information to make unauthorized transactions.