Tips to Avoiding Card Fraud

Card fraud is defined as the act of using another person’s card or card details (both credit and debit) without consent for financial gain. It can be hard to figure out how hackers operate and the techniques they use. Here is some advice to help you keep the money in your pocket!

Inspect ATMs and EFTPOS machines

You can spot some characteristics of an ATM or EFTPOS machine that has skimming devices attached to them. Some key things to look for are:

  • Card skimming: The card details are one half of the data needed by the hackers to steal your money. Skimming devices read the data from the magnetic strip on the card, or the microchip. Before inserting your card, ensure the lights are flashing near the card slot (skimming devices often cover these areas). However, this isn’t always the case and modern devices are able to blend in with the lighting. You should also look for other unusual characteristics such as loose fixtures where the arrows directing your card are pointing.
  • PIN capturing: The other half of data a hacker requires is the PIN (Product Identification Number) of the card. This can be attained through the following avenues:
    1. Skimming plates: These are essentially a fake keyboard that sits over the numbers to attain the PIN the user puts in. Check that the PIN pad is tightly bonded to the ATM fixture as skimmer plates are often loose. Also check to notice if you recognise the style and layout from previous use.
    2. Cameras: Small cameras are inserted into the speaker compartments of an ATM or nearby fixtures such as  brochure holders attached to the ATM. The aim of these is to capture footage of someone putting their PIN in. Cover your PIN at all times to be sure.

Be aware when travelling

It’s important to be aware of skimming not only in your day-to-day life, but also when you travel abroad. A large portion of Australians are victims of fraud whilst on holidays or working overseas where magnetic strips are still prominent on cards (when cards are swiped), rather than the modern chip (when cards are inserted) used by the majority of Australians.  Australian Payments Network estimates that $33.4 million was card skimmed overseas in 2016, in oppose to $25.8 million domestically.

Use Frollo!

One of the easier ways to check if your card has been skimmed is to check your accounts regularly by using Frollo. We’re able to flag a transaction as unrecognized. Even if it does slip through, our transactions tab is easy to use and you’ll be able figure out how much went missing and when. Don’t hesitate to contact your bank or lender if you feel concerned about unrecognized activity on your account. Be warned though, don’t wait for your bank statements to arrive to review activity. Banks will only provide refunds in most cases provided you give them quick notice. So stay on top of your accounts, and download Frollo!


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Frollo is a purpose-driven Australian FinTech on a quest to help people feel good about money. We’ve built the simplest way to help people get their finances on track – and through our business ecosystem, we’re supporting our enterprise clients to do the same for their customers.

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