Recently, there has been an increase in card shimming in the metro Detroit area that has affected several financial institutions, retailers and consumers. These scams typically involve a group of criminals, and they place shimming devices on ATM’s, gas pumps, and other retail terminals.
How does the scam work?
The criminals will place a shimmer on the inside of a card terminal, which is virtually undetectable to the common user. Once your card passes through the shimmer, it captures the account data on your card. The criminals retrieve the data from the shimming device, and use it to create fake cards with your account information. Once they create the fake card they will take it to an ATM to withdraw as much money as possible. Zeal has been working with local authorities, our vendors and other institutions to try and prevent these scams. Unfortunately, the criminals are regularly changing their methods to become more sophisticated.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself from a Shimming Scam?
- Always look for anything unusual at card terminals, whether it’s a grocery store, a gas station or an ATM. Look for loose items in the card slot, unusual hardware on the terminal or anything out of the ordinary.
- Make sure your card slides into the card reader easily. If there is resistance inserting your card, do not use the card terminal.
- Cover your hands when inputting a PIN number to help prevent criminals from obtaining your PIN number. Often times shimmers include a small camera to capture PIN numbers, and criminals can’t use a spoofed card at an ATM without your PIN number.
- We recommend that members set up alerts on their accounts so they are notified of unauthorized transactions as quickly as possible. We recommend setting them up through Visa and your Zeal Online Banking account. Members can clicking here.
What Should I Do if I have been Shimmed?
Contact us immediately if you have an unauthorized transaction on your debit card. We recommend visiting a branch if possible so we can immediately re-issue a new debit card. If you need to cancel a debit card after business hours you can do so by calling Visa directly at 1-888-241-2510. You should also contact your local police department to report the incident.
As a result of these recent scams, Zeal Credit Union is monitoring accounts and our ATM’s for suspected fraud transactions, and we have added additional security measures to help prevent these scams. We take your privacy and the security of your information very seriously, and we are doing everything we can to prevent these scams from happening to our members. Our website, www.zealcu.org/fraud-protection/ also includes a list of steps you can take to lower the risk to your accounts.