In an article recently posted on the CNC3 News website, it was reported that a large number of customers of the RBC bank were victims of debit card skimming resulting in loss of funds from their account.
What exactly is card skimming and how could it happen to you?
Skiming is the illegal act of copying or cloning your bank card information, particularly the data strip at the back of your card along with the PIN you would enter for that card. Once both of these items are in the hands of the criminal, they can be used to access funds in your account.
Skimming can happen in many ways, however, here are some of the more common ways in which it occurs:
At the ATM - An ATM skimming device is placed right over the area where you put your card in the ATM machine. It may look like part of the ATM machine and is often very difficult to notice. These devices are used to copy your card and save the PIN you entered with it. Below are some examples of ATM skimming devices:
Handheld Devices - When paying using LINX at a merchant, you should always keep an eye on where your card is being taken. Similar skimming devices can be hidden under the counter and your card can quickly be skimmed. Though this type is skimming is more likely to occur with Credit Cards, you should never leave your card unattended when paying at a merchant.
- Gas Station Pumps - Skimming devices can also be installed at gas station pumps in a similar manner to what we saw for ATM machines.
All affected customers should contact their bank to have their debit card re-issued. It is also suggested that you use a different PIN with you new card. If you are currently out of the country and reading this article, you can contact the back electronically or via phone. Information to contact RBCTT can be found here.