Privacy & Security

card skimming 101

Just imagine what someone could do if they had a copy of your card and PIN. Get more info on card skimming and how to prevent it.

card skimming 101

What is card skimming?

It’s the unlawful copying of information on the magnetic stripe of a bank card so that fraudsters can create a "cloned" card. This card can be used to access your account and therefore your money but only if they also know your PIN. The PIN is usually obtained by fraudsters or accomplices looking over the cardholder's shoulder (also called shoulder surfing) when they enter their PIN at a card machine or ATM. This is why you must never share your PIN and always shield the pin pad whenever you enter your PIN.


Tips to protect yourself

  • Keep your card in plain sight at all times
  • Restaurants or garages have portable card machines that can be brought to you. If none are available, insist on accompanying the salesperson, waiter or petrol attendant to another location so you can pay with your card. This doesn't mean that while your card is not in sight that your data is being stolen – the cause for concern, however, is the possibility, which could mean the future risk of unlawful transactions
  • Register for our Transaction Information services to receive notifications on your cellphone for money-out transactions when your card is used
  • Monitor your accounts and check that the transactions are valid
  • Report suspicious card transactions by calling us on 0860 10 20 43 and change your PIN
  • Stop your card as soon as you identify fraudulent transactions using our cellphone app, Internet banking or by visiting your nearest branch

But how do they do it?

Skimming devices come in different shapes and sizes; some are even small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Once the fraudster has your card, they’ll quickly swipe it through the device to capture the magstripe information. This will be used later to create a cloned card.

Skimming devices can also be attached to the front of an ATM and disguised to look like part of the ATM! In these cases, the card is skimmed when the card is inserted. The PIN is often captured by a tiny hidden camera in the false front (usually through a small hole above the ATM's keypad).


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