How the scam works:
(with video below) In this scam, crooks are either workers at a store you're shopping at (they operate the till) or just come into stores and stick a skimmer into the PIN pad while the teller is not paying attention. It has been reported that there are two ways criminals clone your debit card.
1. They insert a thin card reader inside the device, right underneath the keypad. You can't see it, so it's hard to avoid. The card reader looks like a film strip and records your pressed keys.
2. The other one comes as a reader/skimmer as well, but is attached to the numbers pad. You can see this one if you pay attention to the keypad, which is now a little bigger than usual.
Watch the video below to see in action PIN pad skimming scammers caught on camera, as well as tips on how to avoid the scam.
How to avoid:
Despite popular belief, criminals do not take the money from your account right away. Police reports indicate they usually leave a few months in between, just so you record hundreds of other transactions on your bank statement. This makes it almost impossible for investigators to track the exact store where your card was defrauded. You can avoid this if you change your PIN number very often. It's inconvenient, but doesn't cost you anything. Better safe than sorry. On the other hand, for the alternative scams, always cover your PIN number when you type it in, as well as check the PIN pad for any unusual attachments.
Here are three more variations of the bank card skimming scam:
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