Credit Card vs. Debit Card Fraud

One difference between a credit card and a debit card is that if there’s an unauthorized charge on your credit card, you just get a little sting. It’s a hassle to straighten out. But no money is taken from you.

2CBut if someone gets ahold of your debit card information, the second they use it, depending on the nature of the transaction, your bank account will be drained. And in some cases, you can kiss that money goodbye; you got scorched. More than ever, crooks are using others’ debit card data and sucking dry their bank accounts via ATMs—in an instant.

An article on blogs.wsj.com outlines the differences between a credit card and a debit card:

  • Federal law protects you from unauthorized charges made with your credit card number rather than with the actual card.
  • In the event the credit card is in a thief’s hands, you’ll be liable, but only for a maximum of $50, provided you report the problem to the credit card company. However, in many cases a “zero liability” policy may kick in.
  • Debit cards fall under a different federal law than credit cards. Regulation E, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, says after two days, you could be liable for up to $50. After 2 days liability jumps to 500.00. Beyond 60 days, you could be liable for all unauthorized transactions. Otherwise, federal rules are on the bank’s side.
  • Beyond 60 days, there’s likelihood you’ll never see your money again.

How does the thief get one’s card information in the first place?

  • The thief places a “skimmer” in the swiping device of an ATM or other location such as a gas pump or even the swiping device at a checkout counter. The skimmer snatches card data when the card is swiped.
  • The thief returns at some point and retrieves the skimmer, then makes a fake card.
  • Thieves may capture PINs with hidden cameras focused on the ATMs keys. So when entering PINs, conceal the activity with your free hand.
  • A business employee, to whom you give your card to purchase something, may be the thief. He disappears from your sight with your card to swipe it at some unseen location. While away from you, he skims the data.
  • The thief sends out mass e-mails designed to look like they’re from the recipient’s bank, the IRS or retailers. The message lures the recipient into clicking a link inside the e-mail.
  • The link takes them to a site set up by the thief, further luring the victim into typing in their card’s information.
  • The thief calls the victim, pretending to be the IRS or some big outfit, and lures the recipient into giving out card information.

It’s obvious, then, there are many things that can go wrong. Your best solution is to pay close attention to your statements, online or via a mobile app, frequently.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention

Beware of Vacation Rental Scams this Summer

Talk about getting taken to the cleaners: Imagine you spot a great summer rental property advertised online. Looks wonderful. The deal sounds too good to be true, but the owner tells you (via e-mail or even phone) that the fee is correct. You apply for the rent and send in the required upfront payment.

9DThen you head down there for the first time to see an empty lot. It then dawns on you that the owner was really a crook who used some photo he found online and advertised it for rent. And if losing your money isn’t bad enough, the thief now has other private information on you like your Social Security number.

How can you protect yourself if the property is too far away to check out in person? Limit yourself to only local rental properties that you can actually physically check out first? Whether or not you can do that, here are safeguards:

  • Copy and paste the rental description into a search engine. If it shows up elsewhere consider it a scam. However…a smart crook will alter the wording so that this doesn’t happen!
  • Google the listed address and see if it matches up. Google any other information connected with the ad, such as the landlord’s name.
  • If you locate the property on another site that lists it for sale, the rental ad is a scam.
  • Request a copy of the owner’s driver’s license to verify property records at your county assessor’s office.
  • If you can’t physically visit the property, use an online map to get a full view, including aerial, to make sure it actually exists. But this doesn’t rule out scam. The property may exist alright, but the ad you’re interested in was not placed by the owner, who’s either not renting at all or might be selling the place.
  • Conduct all communication by phone.
  • Never wire transfer an upfront payment or pay via prepaid debit card—two red flags for a scam. Pay via credit card.

Honest landlords can be scammed, too. They should search the information of responders to their ads to see what comes up.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to TheBestCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention.

Protecting Yourself from Debit Card Fraud

A thief got ahold of woman’s debit card information and raided her bank account. This true story is described in a recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch article.

9DThieves can wire money over the Internet and get the cash by showing a false ID, says the article. This kind of fraud is more common than people think. In the woman’s case, Visa detected the theft quickly and she got her money back. Many victims, though, learn they were robbed only after a check bounces.

You can’t 100 percent prevent card fraud because thieves hack into computers at banks and retailers to get card information. A clerk, even, can run your card through electronic skimmers to duplicate it. Skimmers are then swiped through ATM machines or gas pumps, ripping you off. However, there are ways you can reduce the fraud.

Don’t be phishing bait. An e-mail comes to you claiming you must make a payment and includes a link where to do this. These scam e-mails make gullible people think they’re from banks, retailers, even what seems like the IRS. The link to a phony website entices victims into typing in their bank account or credit card numbers: a done deal for the thieves.

Review bank and credit card statements promptly. Reporting something suspicious within two days means minimal liability with bank accounts. Wait too long and you may never recover your loss.

Never lose sight of your debit card. Always watch clerks swipe it. Don’t hand it to anyone else at the store.

Consider ditching the debit/credit card. Use an ATM card and a separate credit card rather than the combo.

Never give your card to anyone. This means a caregiver, nanny, dog sitter, relative—you never know what they may do.

Never give your card or account information to someone who phones you.

Never leave your checkbook around where someone can get at it. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article reports the case of a man whose girlfriend’s heroin-addict son found his checkbook and wrote checks totaling $40,000 before he realized he’d been robbed.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247. Disclosures.

Debit Cards: Signature or PIN, what’s What?

What kind of debit card do you have? The two types are direct debit cards and deferred debit cards.
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Direct debit

  • Use of a PIN (personal identification number), which the bank issues or you choose. Card purchases require entering the PIN, and money is taken out of your checking account on the spot.
  • PIN-based transactions cost retailers less to process, and many banks pass the transaction fee onto the cardholder.
  • Bank fees range from 25 cents to $1.50 per every PIN direct debit purchase. Not all banks blatantly notify the consumer of this, but this should be visible on the checking account statement.
  • Usually safer than the deferred version, as a thief needs to know the PIN to use the card. For obvious reasons, direct debit cards are safer for online use than are deferred debit cards.
  • Cannot be overdrafted unless you opt into overdrafting at the time of account creation.

Deferred debit

Think of a fusion between a traditional credit card and a direct debit card. Rather than on the spot of a purchase, money is withdrawn from your checking account within two or three days of the purchase.

  • No PIN required; only the signature of the cardholder.
  • Has potential for an overdraft, resulting in a fee. The purchase will get cleared even if you don’t have sufficient funds in your account.
  • The overdraft fee could be $30 or more.
  • Tend not to have any transaction fee.

Both of these cards provide a degree of protection for the consumer. With each it is essential the consumer checks their statements frequently as federal law requires banks to refund stolen funds when reported in less than 3 days and up to 60 days depending on the nature of the card.

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

Top 5 Credit/Debit Card Skimming Attacks

Credit card fraud is a multi-billion dollar industry. Skimming is one of the financial industry’s fastest-growing crimes, according to the U.S. Secret Service. ATM skimming alone is responsible for $350,000 of fraud daily exceeding a billion dollars in losses annually.

Skimming can occur in a few different ways;

Wedge Skimming

The most common skim is when a store clerk/waiter etc. takes your card and runs it through a card reader device that copies the information from the magnetic strip. Once the thief has the credit or debit card data he downloads it to his PC then he can burn the data to a gift card or blank “white card” or place orders over the phone or online.

POS Swaps

EFTPOS (electronic funds transfers at the point of sale) skimming occurs when the point of sale terminal is replaced with a skimming device. People commonly swipe both credit and debit cards through the in-store machines to pay for goods and services at these outlets. This is what happened to Stop and Shop. In Australia, fast food chains, convenience stores, and specialty clothing stores are bearing the brunt of the crime. McDonald’s is among the outlets whose EFTPOS machines have been targeted.

ATM Skimmers

Criminals can also place a card reader device on the face of an ATM, which appears to be a part of the machine. The device may have wireless Bluetooth or cellular technology built to obtain the data remotely.   It’s almost impossible for civilians to know the difference unless they have an eye for security, or the skimmer is of poor quality. Often, the thieves will hide a small pinhole camera in a brochure holder, light bar, mirror or car stereo looking speaker on the face of the ATM in order to extract the victim’s pin number. Gas pumps are equally vulnerable to this type of scam.

Data Interceptors

Another type of gas pump skim is pulled off due to a common set of keys that will open almost any gas pump. Criminals pose as fuel pump technicians and access the terminal with the master keys. Once inside they access the wires that connect the key pad/card reader and piggyback a device inside the pump that reads all the unencrypted card data.

Dummy ATMs

In some cases an ATM is bought off of eBay (do a search) or elsewhere and installed anywhere there is foot traffic. The machine is set up for one purpose; read/copy data. The machine might be powered by car batteries or plugged in the nearest outlet. I bought one off Craigslist for $750 from a guy named Bob at a bar. How you like them apples.

When credit card information is skimmed, hackers can copy the data on blank cards, gift cards, hotel keys, or “white” cards. White cards are effective at self checkouts, or when the thief knows the clerk and is able to “sweetheart” the transaction. A white card can also be pressed with foils to look like a legitimate credit card, as seen in this video.

To help combat ATM Skimming, ADT unveiled the ADT Anti-Skim ATM Security Solution, which helps prevent skimming attempts and detects skimming devices on all major ATM makes and models. ADT’s anti-skim solution is installed inside an ATM near the card reader, making it invisible from the outside.

Consumers must check their statements online weekly or at least their papers ones monthly. Refute unauthorized charges immediately. Federal law allows up to 60 days to dispute a charge. After that you may be paying for an identity thief’s Vegas bender. Whenever entering a PIN always cover the keypad with your other hand.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing ATM skimming on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Carders, Dumps, and Identity Theft

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

WE DO NOT SELL DUMPS. DO NOT EMAIL OR CALL US.

WE DO NOT SELL DUMPS

Albert Gonzalez and his gang of criminal hackers were responsible for data breaches in retailers and payment processors, with some estimates saying they breached over 230 million records combined. Gonzalez, considered a proficient criminal hacker, provided “dumps,” a term which refers to stolen credit card data, to “carders”. “Carders” are the people who buy, sell, and trade stolen credit card data online. This video provides an example of an online forum where stolen data is bought and sold. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to his crimes and will be serving the next fifteen years in jail. He and his gang used a combination of schemes that have caused a significant increase in counterfeit fraud.

Hackers rely on a variety of techniques to obtain credit card data. One such technique is wardriving, in which criminals hack into wireless networks and install spyware. Another is phishing, in which spoofed emails prompt the victim to enter account information. Phexting or smishing are similar to phishing, but with text messages instead of emails. Some hackers use keylogging software to spy on victims’ PCs. Others affix devices to the faces of ATMs and gas pumps in order to skim credit and debit card data.

Gonzalez and his gang used another, more advanced technique known as an “SQL injection.” SQL stands for “Structured Query Language.”  The term refers to a virus that infects an application by exploiting a security vulnerability. WordPress, a blogging platform, is an example of a commonly used application that has been found vulnerable to these types of attacks. There are hundreds of other applications that can fall victim to an SQL injection.

IBM Internet Security Systems discovered 50% more web pages infected in the last quarter of 2008 than in the entire year of 2007. In 2005, a now defunct third party payment processor called CardSystems suffered an SQL injection, compromising a reported 40 million credit cards.

While Gonzalez has gone down, carders are still very active. A group of white hat hackers that calls itself War Against Cyber Crime recently succeeded in breaking into Pakbugs.com, a Pakistan-based carder forum, and published a list of members’ login details and email addresses. Pakbugs.com has since dropped offline.

With 213 million cardholders and 1.2 billion credit cards in the U.S., there’s no shortage of opportunity for carders to maintain their current pace. When a carder uses one of your existing credit cards, it’s called “account takeover.” When they use your personal information to open up new credit accounts in your name, it’s called “new account fraud” or “application fraud.”

1. Protecting yourself from account takeover is relatively easy. Simply pay attention to your statements every month and refute unauthorized charges immediately. I check my charges online once every two weeks. If I’m traveling extensively, especially out of the country, I let the credit card company know ahead of time, so they won’t shut down my card while I’m on the road.

2. Protecting yourself from new account fraud requires more effort. You can attempt to protect your own identity, by getting yourself a credit freeze, or setting up your own fraud alerts. There are pros and cons to each.

3. Invest in Intelius Identity Protection and Prevention. Because when all else fails you’ll have someone watching your back.

Includes:

·         Triple Bureau Credit monitoring – monitors changes in your credit profiles from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion-includes email alerts of any suspicious changes

·         Social Security Number and Public Record Monitoring – monitors the internet and public sources for fraudulent social security number, aliases, addresses, and phone numbers

·         Junk Mail Reduction – stop identity thieves from using personal information from your mailbox, trash or even phone calls by eliminating junk mail, credit card offers and telemarketing calls

·         Neighborhood Watch – includes a sex offender report, list of neighbors and a neighbor report on each of your neighbors

·          Identity Theft Specialists  – if in the unlikely event you become a victim of identity theft our Identity Theft experts will work with you to restore your identity and good name

·         Credit Report Dispute – if you find errors on your credit report we will help you resolve them quickly

·         Protection Insurance and Specialists -Identity Protect has you covered with up to $25,000 in Identity Theft Recovery Insurance and access to Personal Identity Theft Resolution Specialists.

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing credit card and debit card fraud on CNBC

Credit/Debit Card Identity Theft Concerns Trump Terrorism

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

recent Unisys study found that, in the midst of the global financial crisis, American’s primary fear is credit and debit card fraud. 68% of those surveyed are extremely or very concerned about the security of their credit or debit card data, and 66% are extremely or very concerned about identity theft.

Compare that to 58% who are extremely or very concerned about terrorism and war, and 41% who fear the possibility of a serious health epidemic. If we actually had a pandemic, I’m sure the public would favor health concerns over money. But so be it.

Credit card fraud comes in two different flavors: account takeover and new account fraud. Account takeover occurs when an identity thief gains access to your credit or debit card number through criminal hacking, dumpster diving, ATM skimming, or perhaps when you hand it over to pay at a store or restaurant. Technically, account takeover is the most prevalent form of identity theft, though I’ve always viewed it as simple credit card fraud.

Federal laws limit cardholder liability to $50 in the case of credit card fraud, as long as the cardholder disputes the charge within 60 days. Debit card fraud victims must notify the bank within two days in order to be protected by this $50 limit. After that, the maximum liability jumps to $500. And if a victim doesn’t discover or report the fraud until after 60 days have passed, the liability could be the entire card balance, for a debit or credit card. Once your debit card is compromised, you might not find out until a check bounces or the card is declined. And once you do recover the funds, the thief can just start all over again, unless you cancel the account altogether.

1. Protecting yourself from account takeover is relatively easy. Simply pay attention to your statements every month and refute unauthorized charges immediately. I check my charges online once every two weeks. If I’m traveling extensively, especially out of the country, I let the credit card company know ahead of time, so they won’t shut down my card while I’m on the road.

2. Protecting yourself from new account fraud requires more effort. You can attempt to protect your own identity, by getting yourself a credit freeze, or setting up your own fraud alerts. There are pros and cons to each.

3. Invest in Intelius Identity Protect. Because when all else fails you’ll have someone watching your back.

Includes:

·         Triple Bureau Credit monitoring – monitors changes in your credit profiles from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion-includes email alerts of any suspicious changes
·         Social Security Number and Public Record Monitoring – monitors the internet and public sources for fraudulent social security number, aliases, addresses, and phone numbers
·         Junk Mail Reduction – stop identity thieves from using personal information from your mailbox, trash or even phone calls by eliminating junk mail, credit card offers and telemarketing calls
·         Neighborhood Watch – includes a sex offender report, list of neighbors and a neighbor report on each of your neighbors
·          Identity Theft Specialists  – if in the unlikely event you become a victim of identity theft our Identity Theft experts will work with you to restore your identity and good name
·         Credit Report Dispute – if you find errors on your credit report we will help you resolve them quickly
·         Protection Insurance and Specialists -Identity Protect has you covered with up to $25,000 in Identity Theft Recovery Insurance and access to Personal Identity Theft Resolution Specialists.
·         Triple Bureau Credit monitoring – monitors changes in your credit profiles from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion-includes email alerts of any suspicious changes
·         Social Security Number and Public Record Monitoring – monitors the internet and public sources for fraudulent social security number, aliases, addresses, and phone numbers
·         Junk Mail Reduction – stop identity thieves from using personal information from your mailbox, trash or even phone calls by eliminating junk mail, credit card offers and telemarketing calls
·         Neighborhood Watch – includes a sex offender report, list of neighbors and a neighbor report on each of your neighbors
·          Identity Theft Specialists  – if in the unlikely event you become a victim of identity theft our Identity Theft experts will work with you to restore your identity and good name
·         Credit Report Dispute – if you find errors on your credit report we will help you resolve them quickly
·         Protection Insurance and Specialists -Identity Protect has you covered with up to $25,000 in Identity Theft Recovery Insurance and access to Personal Identity Theft Resolution Specialists.

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing credit card and debit card fraud on CNBC

Big Time Identity Theft Hackers Indicted

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

ABC news and a bazillion other outlets report that a former informant for the Secret Service was one of three men charged with stealing credit and debit card information from 170 million accounts in the largest data breach in history. The former informant, Albert Gonzalez of Florida, A.K.A “Segvec”, “SoupNazi,” and “j4guar17,” whose motto was ”Get Rich or Die Tryin'” was alleged to have been the ringleader of the criminal hacking operation of a prolific network that spans over five years of serious criminal activity. Once a criminal, always a criminal.

Gonzalez and two other unidentified hackers believed to be from Russia have been charged with hacking into Heartland Payment Systems, 7-11 and Hannaford Brothers Company, Dave and Busters and TJX Corporation, which involved up to 45 million credit card numbers..

Gonzalez was originally arrested in 2003 by the U.S. Secret Service and began working with the agency as an informant. Federal investigators say they later learned that the hacker had been tipping off other hackers on how to evade detection of security and law enforcement worldwide.

Gonzalez provided “sniffer” software used to intercept the credit and debit card numbers for the Russian hackers. Sniffer software or “malware” malicious software, acts like a virus attaching itself to a network and often spreading. The software allows the criminal hacker backdoor access to all the data in the server and provides remote control functionality.

The NY Times reports according to the indictment, Gonzalez and his conspirators reviewed lists of Fortune 500 companies to decide which corporations to take aim at and visited their stores and used a technique called “wardriving” to monitor wireless networks. The online attacks took advantage of flaws in the SQL programming language, which is commonly used for databases.

Threat Level, by Wired magazine, reported that Gonzalez had lived a lavish lifestyle in Miami, once spending $75,000 on a birthday party for himself and complaining to friends that he had to manually count thousands of $20 bills when his counting machine broke.

Protect yourself;

1. You can’t prevent this type of credit card fraud from happening to you when the retailer isn’t protecting your data. Eventually credit card protection solutions will  be available. For now, protecting yourself from account takeover is relatively easy. Simply pay attention to your statements every month and refute unauthorized charges immediately. I check my charges online once every two weeks. If I’m traveling extensively, especially out of the country, I let the credit card company know ahead of time, so they won’t shut down my card while I’m on the road.

2. Prevent new account fraud.  Get a credit freeze. Go to ConsumersUnion.org and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.

3. Invest in Intelius Identity Theft Protection and Prevention. While not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, you can effectively manage your personal identifying information by knowing what’s buzzing out there in regards to YOU.

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing credit card data breaches and the sad state of cyber security on Fox News

Identity Theft Attempt at Defcon

Identity Theft Expert Robert Siciliano

Hackers hacked hackers at the annual Defcon conference in Las Vegas this past weekend. Defcon is a conference for hackers of all breeds. There are good guys, bad guys, those who are somewhere in between, plus law enforcement and government agents. All kinds of inventive people with an intuition for technology decend on Las Vegas to learn, explore, and hack.

At this year’s Defcon, someone planted a real, rigged, malicious ATM right outside the security office of the Riviera Hotel and Casino. For some reason, the area outside the security office doesn’t have any security cameras, which made it an easy place to attempt a scam. Scams like this are common in Las Vegas, due to the city’s transient nature and frantic pace. Everyone is looking for a quick buck, and what better place to pull of an ATM scam than Vegas?

ATM skimming comes in two flavors. In the first scenario, a device called a “skimmer” is placed on the face of an operational ATM. When a card is swiped, the skimmer records the data on the card, and a hidden camera generally records the PIN. Usually, money is dispensed. In the second scenario, a used ATM is rigged to record data, and placed in a public area. These ATMs are only semi-operational, and do not dispense cash. This is the type of ATM that was found in Las Vegas.

A conference attendee uncovered the scam when he attempted to use the machine and recieved an error message. Upon further investigation, a computer was discovered where the security camera should have been. The computer was recording all the victims’ details. That’s when the alarm was sounded and the area became a crime scene.

You can protect yourself from these types of scams by paying attention to your statements. Refute unauthorized transactions within 60 days. Consider never using a debit card again, since credit cards are safer. When using an ATM, pay close attention to details, and look for anything that seems out of place. If your card gets stuck in the machine or you notice anything odd about the appearance of the machine, such as wires, double sided tape, error messages, a missing security camera, or the machine seems unusually old and run down, don’t use it. Don’t use just any ATM. Instead, look for ATMs in more secure locations. (Of course, just outside the security office isn’t exactly the middle of nowhere, so always be alert.) Use strong PINs, with both upper and lowercase letters, as well as numbers. And invest in Intelius Identity Theft Protection and Prevention. Not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk.

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing ATM skimming on Fox News

ATM Fraud Increases Identity Theft Risk

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

A spate of recent news reports highlight growing ATM fraud. Law enforcement in New York City reported a gang had stolen $500,000 from bank accounts via ATM skimming. They installed cameras and skimming devices on the machines, and recorded the magnetic strips and the PIN numbers.

A recent survey points towards ATM fraud rising 5-9 percent. Seventy percent of those poled experienced a jump between 2007 and 2008. Many of the large data breaches that have occurred over the past few years may have contributed to the fraud.

It’s simple enough to hack into a database and compromise cards and pins. It’s even easier to affix hardware to the face of an ATM machine and do the same. Once the data is compromised the identity thieves clone cards and turn the data into cash as quickly.

Bankinfosecurity.com recently published “7 Growing Threats to Financial Institutions”. This post is a play on that; “7 Growing Threats to You”

#1 Skimming; Hardware readily available online that is attached to the face of an ATM records user card information and pin codes. In this case you may still be able to perform a transaction.

#2 Ghost ATMs; A card reader is blocked off and replaced with hardware that supersedes the machine and records all your data without allowing a transaction. The machine reads “Can’t complete transaction”.

#3 Dummy ATMs; In some cases an ATM is bought off of eBay (do a search) or elsewhere and installed anywhere there is foot traffic. The machine is set up for one purpose; read data. The machine might be powered by car batteries or plugged in the nearest outlet.

#4 Ram Raids; ATMs built into a wall or stand alone are being rammed by a truck and/or wrapped with chain and pulled out then loaded onto a truck. Once removed the thieves blow torch the machine taking the cash. This is a hot topic in Mexican banks, buy certainly happens everywhere. A bank would be smart to install battery backed GPS in any machine.

#5 PIN ID’s; Sophisticated criminal hackers break into a database or skim magnetic strips. They then go to an online banking site with a hacking software that plugs in various well known PINs. These PINs might be consecutive numbers, peoples names, pets names, birthdates, or other various simple pass phrases people use. When it finds a match it gives the criminal access to your account.

#6 Automated PIN Changes; Criminals go through the banks telephone banking system to change the customers PIN. They may try to change the customers ANI (Automatic Number Identification) is a system utilized by telephone companies to identify the DN (Directory Number) of a caller. This might be accomplished via “Caller ID Spoofing”. They use publicly available data on the card holder such as name, card account number and last four digits of the social security number to “verify” them as the banks customer.

#7 SMS Attacks; AKA Smishing or Phexting – phish texting. Customers receive a text from a bank on their smartphone requesting login information.

#8 Malware or Malicious Software; Researchers found a virus that specifically infects ATMs and takes over the machine logging card numbers and pins.

How to protect yourself;

First and foremost; Pay attention to your statements every two weeks. Refute unauthorized transactions within a 30-60 day time frame.

1. Pay close attention to everything you do at an ATM. Look for “red flags”, anything out of place. If your card sticks, odd looking configurations on the ATM, wires, two sided tape.
2. Use strong PINs, uppercase lower case, alpha and numeric online and when possible at an ATM and for telephone banking.
3. Don’t reply to phishing or phexting emails. Just hit delete.
4. Don’t just use “any” ATM. Choose ATMs at locations that are “more secure” than in the middle of nowhere.
5. Make sure your McAfee anti-virus is up to date.
6. Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Because when all else fails its good to have someone watching your back.

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing ATM skimming