“Skimming” is a method by which thieves capture the magnetic strip data from your card and use it to create a new, counterfeit card. These counterfeit cards are then used to process unauthorized transactions against your account. There are two main methods of skimming card information:
- A small device that appears to be a part of the machine is placed over the card insertion slot of an ATM, gas pump, or other self-service kiosk. As you slide your card into the ATM, this device “reads” the data on the strip and either stores it or transmits it to a nearby location. Often times, there is also a small, hidden camera that captures your keystrokes as you input your PIN into the machine.
- Devices carried by an employee in a merchant’s store location. When the employee walks away with your card to complete your transaction, they swipe the card through the skimming device and capture the magnetic strip data.
How to protect yourself
- Look at the ATM, gas pump or self-service kiosk before using it. If it doesn’t look right, don’t use it.
- If you see an attachment on an ATM that looks suspicious, don’t use the ATM. Notify the institution that owns the machine as soon as possible. If it’s a StonehamBank ATM, contact the branch location of the ATM or call 1-888-402-BANK (2265).
- Never give your PIN to anyone or write it on your card.
- Review your monthly statements immediately and notify us of any discrepancy by calling 1-888-402-BANK (2265).
Card Data Compromises
Many news reports have recently surfaced surrounding banks and merchants whose systems are hacked and card data is obtained. StonehamBank takes an active role in reviewing these instances and taking action to protect your account. If we receive a report that includes your information, we will:
- Immediately review your account activity and contact you if we find something suspicious.
- Send you a new card if the data obtained puts your account at risk. If we do this, we will allow you to continue using your existing card for a period of time until you receive your new card. During this interim period, we will continuously review your account activity and look for suspicious transaction activity.
StonehamBank employs state-of-the-art fraud tracking technology to monitor cards for activity outside of normal usage patterns. The tracking system can help identify possible fraudulent activity and curtail it as soon as possible. In addition to this, we recommend the following things to help keep your personal information and accounts safe:
- If your card is lost or stolen, contact us immediately using the following telephone number: 1-800-236-2442
- You will never be contacted directly by companies like MasterCard® or Visa® to verify personal or card information, your PIN or to request that you transfer funds or process transactions to protect your account. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of such requests, contact 1-888-402-BANK (2265).
- Make a list of ATM, debit card, credit card, and bank account numbers, as well as the customer service telephone numbers for each. Keep this list in a safe and secure place so you can easily notify the necessary companies in case you lose your wallet or purse. This will also mitigate the risk of fraud.
- Whether at home or traveling, only carry ATM, credit and debit cards that are necessary. If traveling, cancel unused cards or secure them in a safe place while you’re away.
- Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Never write it on the card or anywhere else it could be compromised.
- It’s not a good idea to use the last four digits of your social security number, date of birth, address or numbers that may be easily obtained by identity thieves as your PIN.
- Never give out your credit or debit card numbers over the telephone or the Internet unless you have a trusted business relationship with the person or company.
- Never leave ATM, credit or debit cards lying around where anyone has access to them.
- Always keep your receipts for card purchases or withdrawals. Never throw them in a public trash container where they could eventually be found.
- Be aware if a merchant takes your card out of your sight for an extended period of time. Most merchants will process transactions within your view. If you become suspicious, contact your financial institution to warn of possible fraud on your account.
- When vacationing, contact your bank regarding your plans. Most banks monitor suspicious activity, including geographic shifts in cardholder use. They may choose to temporarily restrict the card until the activity can be validated. By informing us up front, you can prevent unnecessary inconveniences while traveling.
- Always thoroughly review credit card and bank statements upon receipt. If there is suspicious activity on your account, notify the Credit Card company or bank immediately.
Reporting ATM or Debit Card Fraud
To report suspicious activity on your card or account, contact us immediately at 1-888-402-BANK (2265).