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Cybersecurity Threat: E-Skimming

posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Security & Fraud Information

image of someone shopping online

Cybercrime continues to evolve, and that is true with one of the latest methods criminals are using called e-skimmers. 

Most consumers may already be aware of the use of skimmers to steal personal information. A skimmer is a device that is typically placed on a gas pump or ATM that is programmed to steal data off credit and debit cards used to make purchases. With e-skimming, cybercriminals hack into a company’s server and plant malware on their site to also steal the personal information off of credit cards when people shop online.

 Just like with skimmers placed on an ATM, you won’t know you’ve been victimized until your information has been used. While this may sound scary, it is still safe to shop online, but it’s crucial that when doing so, you take certain precautions. The Better Business Bureau recommends the following.

  • Monitor your accounts — Knowledge is power. The best way to combat cybercrime is to report it as soon as it happens. Checking your accounts regularly and reporting fraudulent charges to your bank or credit card issuer will help stop cyber thieves in their tracks.
  • Use a credit card for online purchases — You can protect your checking and savings accounts by only using a credit card to make online purchases. Many of the major credit card issuers will not hold you liable for fraudulent charges, and they can be rectified much easier than if made using your debit card.
  • Use a virtual credit card — Many credit card issuers offer virtual credit cards to protect your account. With a virtual credit card, your card is linked to a unique credit card number that you can use when shopping online. If your data is compromised or stolen, you only have to request a new virtual number rather than a brand new card.

Cybercriminals are constantly changing their methods to try to catch consumers off guard. It’s not surprising that they have reverted to an old tactic to try to take advantage of people who shop online. 

For more information and tools to help you spot and protect your accounts from fraud visit our Personal Security Center and Debit Card Fraud Protection Pages. 

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