The Australian Lending Centre – a specialist in debt consolidation likes to provide their clients with useful information. Following is an example of some helpful info – which will relate to any person that uses an ATM.

Recently more than 5,000 ATM cards have been skimmed in just four weeks as part of an elaborate $500,000 scam.

The devices allegedly recorded details from swiped cards while a small camera filmed customers entering their personal identification numbers (PIN).

Police believe an international crime syndicate operating out of southern Europe is responsible for fitting at least four skimming devices to automatic teller machines (ATM’s) in Melbourne’s CBD and south-eastern suburbs.

The device is glued over the original ATM card slot, creating a fake slot that reads the magnetic strip on the card. A small digital camera in the device records the person’s PIN.

Criminals then access the information using a mobile phone or a laptop and use it to create a fake card to take out money from other ATMs, or purchase items using the duplicated card.

Credit Card Fraud Prevention Tips

To avoid being a victim of Card fraud, it is a good idea to practice the following:

  • Wherever possible, always use the same ATM machine, and be very cautious if there are any changes, such as a new leaflet holder. If it’s outside a bank (and these criminals will do that), go in and ask about the changes first.
  • Watch out for anyone close by. If they seem too close, cancel the transaction and go to another machine.
  • Cover your hand as you enter your PIN by holding your other hand above it.
  • Always take your receipt. It doesn’t contain your full number, but don’t give criminals any information at all.
  • Check your account balance regularly. If you bank online, that’s easily accomplished with a few keystrokes.
  • Check the card reader before inserting your card. If you feel tiny prongs, then it’s a false front. Don’t use it.
  • Never let your credit card out of your sight. The most likely place for this to happen is at your local pub or restaurant. When you let the card out of your sight it is easy to run it once for the bill and a second time through a reader.
  • If you are in a shop/restaurant/bar and the card you have provided the staff member with, for some reason doesn’t ‘read’ properly, do not allow them to re-swipe the same card, provide them with another or pay cash. If someone needs to run your card twice, that should send off warning bells. At least be on your toes and aware of what might be going on.
  • Another recommendation is to use a different pin number for each card.While a person has your card, they can jot down your CVV number on the back. It is a 3 or 4 digit code printed on the back of the card, to be used for security purposes
  • Experts now recommend that you scratch it off and store that number somewhere else

If you are a victim of Card Fraud:

  • Inform your bank immediately. They can help you change your numbers. In most cases, negotiation will mean you’re not liable for funds taken or goods bought with the fake card
  • Check your credit file. Your stolen cash card details can be an entry into identity theft

For information on debt consolidation strategies including low interest rate debt consolidation loans, contact the Australian Lending Centre on 1300 138 188.