In 2017, FICO reported that the number of debit cards compromised at ATMs and merchant devices in the U.S. rose 10% over the previous year. While it’s less of a jump than we have seen in recent years, the continuing trend of fraud is concerning.
The number of hacked ATMs and merchant card readers also rose in 2017, by 8%, according to FICO. While card companies have taken steps in the past few years to reduce fraud, including issuing cards with chip technology, such as that found in your Unity One Debit card. The chips use Europay, MasterCard and Visa technology standards to create a unique code for each transaction, making the card practically impossible to copy. The generation of this code and reading of the chip is one of the reasons members find that transactions with your debit (or credit) card take longer at the point of sale than a simple swipe does.
Criminals responded to EMV capability by developing other methods of hacking ATMs and merchant point of sale terminals. Here are some ways to protect your debit card and ATM transactions from potential criminals.
Guarding Against Fraud
Check the location. Select an ATM that gets a lot of foot traffic or is in a brightly lit area. If possible, make it a routine to use a Unity One Credit Union ATM at a branch location near you.
Check the card reader. Be on the lookout for anything odd about the ATM or card reader at a store. If your card doesn’t enter an ATM smoothly, for example, a skimmer device could be attached to the opening. Another good tactic is to try and wiggle the card reader before inserting your card. If anything moves or dislocates itself from the card reader, go elsewhere for cash immediately.
Check your account. Review your checking account and credit card statements regularly for unauthorized transactions. If your card has been compromised, notify Unity One Credit Union or the applicable financial institution immediately.
Check with Unity One. Ask Unity One for a new card if you believe your card has been compromised, even if there’s not yet evidence of fraud. That way, we can take steps to notify the owners of the ATM in question or the store where fraud is believed to be occurring. You’ll be protecting yourself and other members, too.
Unfortunately, card fraud is an increasing problem, and one that is not likely to go away anytime soon. However, by taking steps to protect yourself and your card, you can keep your money out of a criminal’s hands and avoid the hassle of replacing your debit or credit card.