Every year sophisticated thieves steal millions of dollars from consumers by "skimming" their personal account information. Skimming, sometimes called "card cloning," involves a thief installing a magnetic card reader, or skimmer, over the actual card reader at an ATM or gas pump.
When you swipe your card, the skimming device steals the information and transmits it to a remote computer. At the same time, a tiny, concealed camera reads your PIN as you key it in.
The camera is often installed in a bar the thief has affixed to the machine to look like the ATM's trim. Criminals usually ensure their counterfeit equipment matches the machine's color scheme so it's more difficult to see. Their methods are growing more sophisticated, including keypads that fit over the machine's real keypad, eliminating the need for the camera.
Luckily, you can take steps to avoid becoming a victim:
- Use the same ATM as often as possible. Memorize how it looks, so you will know if anything about it looks fishy.
- Inspect the ATM. If anything looks unusual-cracked, loose, scratched, or taped-don't use it.
- Avoid ATMs in popular tourist locations, as they're common targets. When possible, use indoor ATMs, which are harder for thieves to tamper with.
- When entering your PIN on the keypad, cover the keypad with your free hand to block the view of a spying camera.
Although we monitor our Clearview ATMs with security cameras and frequent checkups, not every ATM you encounter may be as heavily guarded and could put you at risk. To detect any fraudulent charges as early as possible, it's important to check your account often. If you notice unusual activity on your Clearview account, contact us at immediately at 1-800-926-0003.