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Card skimming

Banking cards, whether credit, debit or store cards, can be used for a variety of purposes, but most often they are used to withdraw money from the cash dispensers (ATMs). However, despite that every card has personal identification number (PIN), the risks you are exposed to when withdrawing cash are high.

The most common forms of fraud are card cloning and skimming. Cards have a magnetic stripe and, in some cases with embedded chip where all personal information are stored. Nevertheless, the electronic devices (called skimmers) used to record account data encoded on the magnetic stripe are easy to make.

Card skimming is the practice of copying all data existent in the magnetic stripe (the black stripe on the back of the card) and rewriting them on other storage devices, says a representative from Banca Transilvania.

Banca Transilvania representatives have drawn guidelines to avoiding card frauds.

- Check for any attachments installed at the ATM, and if you see any slight movement, than avoid using the cash dispenser and inform the bank employees.

- Beware of the persons surrounding you. When withdrawing cash, make sure no one is close enough to see your PIN while typing.

- There are cases when the ATM machine is bogus, it is not the property of any bank and it is installed by criminals in a deserted area. The machine may function apparently properly, but no transaction actually occurs, and money are not dispensed, but will return a message “error reading card”, “host error”, or “transaction failed” etc. The machine will return you the card back, but not before being cloned.

- Trapping the card in the ATM can also be caused by a certain device attached to the card entry slot. In this case, contact your bank immediately to replace your card and/or to cancel the card, in order to prevent any financial loss.

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