The emergence of digital banking has come with terms such as passwords and Personal Identification Numbers. In fact, financial technology and digital banking experts believe that passwords and PINs remain the bedrock of digital or electronic banking.
On Wednesday, we considered how you could protect your bank account from scammers. We examined various tips for doing this. This is why today’s article is a follow up to that.
Safeguarding your identity in digital banking is tantamount to protecting your money or wealth. Protecting your identity on Internet banking platforms and the world of digital banking in general is a must.
Your four-digit PIN for your debit card on online shopping sites, passwords on Internet banking platforms and other sites, and your debit card data are key to your life and financial resources.
The Automated Teller Machines and Internet banking platforms are under siege more than ever before from skimming. Skimming, where ATM thieves steal your PIN and account number using remote devices, is increasing dramatically. Often done by sophisticated crime rings, ATM skimming is becoming a high-tech art that’s hard to detect.
That’s bad news for consumers. Experts say that losses from skimming are approaching $1bn globally. Nearly one in five fraud victims reported having their credit card PIN or debit card PIN information stolen in 2009, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. Robert Vamosi, an analyst handling risk, fraud and security at Javelin, sees the ATM skimming continuing to rise this year and the next, according to www.bankrate.com.
Skimming isn’t new. It’s been around for at least 15 years. What has changed is that the “technology of the bad guy is getting better and better every year,” says Robert Siciliano, a security expert based in Boston, United States. “It’s up to consumers to watch their own backs.”
Typically, ATM thieves use two devices to capture your PIN and card data. One device sits near where you swipe your card and reads the magnetic stripe on your card with your account number. Even more confusing, the device mimics the card slot. “The technology has evolved to a point where the moulded plastic fits like it belongs there,” says Siciliano. Devices are even readily available over the Internet for as little as $300.
A camera, hidden from view, captures the PIN. “You can get the data in real time,” says Siciliano. “You can be in your car with a laptop remotely accessing the device.”
Thieves then burn the data onto a blank card to access your money.
The US Secret Service spokesman, Max Milien, wants consumers to be warned. “The public is notified after an event,” he says. And don’t take bank security for granted. Fraud can occur at any bank in any part of the country. Thieves are even sending out false text alerts to get consumer data.
In Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has given several of such warnings. This is why the Central Bank of Nigeria is collaborating with the EFCC to address e-frauds committed with debit and credit cards issued by Nigerian banks.
Banks, they say, are slow to adopt anti-skimming measures. Experts add that debit card users are most at risk. Typically, consumers must report fraudulent charges within two days, limiting your liability to $50. If you report ATM skimming fraud within 60 days, you’re liable for the first $500 of any transaction. Siciliano adds that thieves carefully orchestrate ATM withdrawals, maxing out cash withdrawals one day and waiting until after midnight for the next stash, which quickly adds up.
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