From the news desk

Card holders told to be wary of skimming

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Credit and debit card holders are being advised to take extra precautionary measures when using their cards at ATMs or in stores, with a trend of card skimming seemingly on the rise.

Card skimming sees criminals illegally copy the information from an individual’s card via the magnetic strip, which is run through a specific device tasked with storing card details, with that information then used to create counterfeit cards.

“They (criminals) will have a specific type of gadget that is put into the ATM so that when a customer comes to the ATM, unsuspectingly they insert their card (into the device).

“Sometimes they will even have a little camera that’s located there so they can actually monitor and see the pin code, or they’ll put a plate over the normal keypad to monitor the customer’s logging of the password,” explained Ismail Khatib, head of transactional relationship banking at Al-Baraka Bank.

Suspects would then come back to either swap or snatch the card once the customer left to seek help, or would personally come forward and offer their assistance.

Khatib advised the public to use ATMs that were in high traffic areas with good security, as these conditions were not conducive for scammers to set up shop. In addition, they need check for cameras or unfamiliar gadgets on the ATM prior to inserting their card.

“If you do fall victim, you need to immediately call your respective bank to block the card and get a replacement. Even if you are at a restaurant, if the shop does not have a mobile point-of-sale devices for you to swipe your card then accompany the waiter to the front. At no point should your card leave your presence,” he stressed, further advising consumers to ensure the card they were returned was in fact their own.

In cases where consumers have been defrauded, they will have to sign a dispute form with the bank, with the matter then going under formal investigation. If the banks are able to confirm that a client has in fact been defrauded, then in most cases monies will be refunded.

Khatib also urged consumers to be mindful when logging on to internet banking, advising them to ensure that all web addresses from the bank website started with https. Furthermore, they need remember to log out from their account once their business was complete. VOC


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