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How Credit/Debit Cards are Cloned / Preventing Card Cloning

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Credit/Debit Card Cloning

With the increase in the use of credit/debit cards, card cloning is becoming a huge problem to  it’s users. Card cloning is being done in various part of the world and it is always disheartening watching money leave your bank account and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

In 2018, there was an outcry by a lady saying her card was almost cloned at a filling station. She used her card to pay for her fuel but instead of receiving her card back, the attendant took her card and the POS Machine into their office.

ATM card cloning in Nigeria
Image Source: Nairaland

“I stormed their inner office only to find them trying to make a copy (snap shot and photocopy) of my card. ”This is one of many occurrences in Nigeria.

In 2018, the Commissioner of Police, Anti-Fraud Unit, Federal Criminal Investigation Intelligence Department (FCIID) Ikoyi- Lagos, Dan Okoro raised an alarm on documents being cloned and Atm card inclusive.

He said “It is only the bankers that have details of every deposit in the bank. Our investigation revealed that some bankers give information to the syndicate on how much customers have in every account and “Many crimes are going on in different banks, unfortunately, the bank management will not allow the public to know about it because they want to keep their customers trust,. – Premium Times.

There are criminals everywhere and some of them are a part of the financial systems either as bankers, attendants or own POS business among others. It has become quite easy for criminals to leverage on this systems to carry out their malicious intent with ease.

Skimming is another method used by criminals – bank customers card is captured by  running it through a machine that reads the card’s magnetic stripe. Those machines are often placed over the real card slots at ATMs and other card terminals.

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 as possible.

This are some of the ways credit/debit cards are being cloned.

ATM skimmer
ATM skimmer

How to Prevent Credit/Debit Card Cloning

There is almost nothing you and I can do about this but we can limit the occurrence of being defrauded by first acknowledging that your ATM cards can be cloned and;

  1. Be choosy: Don’t use general ATMs at bars or restaurants. These are not usually monitored and therefore, can be easily tampered with by anyone.If you decide to use those ATMs  “shake” the card scanner to see if it feels like there’s something attached to the card reader on the ATM.
  2. Have a dedicated card for online transactions: You can decide to have a dedicated card for online transactions so as to limit chances ATM card cloning  via compromised websites or malicious websites.
  3. Never let your card out of your sight: One of the biggest security risks is when you let your card out of your sight, especially in restaurants when paying the bill., be sure to watch every move the attendant makes and make sure your card is never out of your sight.
  4. Avoid making financial transactions on shared or public computers: Some public computers have key loggers installed on them while some have “save password” automatically enabled.Using public computers increases the chances of your cards being cloned.
  5. Monitor your accounts regularly: Check your financial statements to catch fraudulent charges and do it regularly.

 

 

 

 

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