ATM Skimming: Actions You Can Take to Protect Yourself

  1. Do a quick scan. Before using any machine, take a look to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with. If the card reader seems loose, crooked or damaged, if the graphics aren’t aligned, or if part of the machine is a different color, don’t use. If there is another machine nearby (such as two ATM machines next to each other) compare them to see if there are obvious differences. For example, if one machine has a flashing slot to insert your card and the other doesn’t, that may be an indication that there is something wrong. 
  2. Be wary of non-bank ATMs. FICO reports that 60% of skimming occurs at privately-owned ATMs. These are typically cash-dispensing machines and tend to be located in convenience stores, bars, restaurants, grocery stores, or check cashing establishments.
  3. Check the keypad. If the numbers are hard to press or feel too thick, it might have a false keypad installed and you should move on to the next machine.
  4. Block your PIN. When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand in case a camera is recording your number.
  5. Stay in public view. Always try to use machines that are in public view with security monitoring – these machines are less likely to be tampered with. For additional protection, use a machine inside the store or an ATM inside your bank.
  6. Check your account regularly. Technology is advancing and so are skimming devices so the best thing you can do is monitor your account. Rather than wait for your monthly statement, check your account regularly using online and mobile banking. This way, if anything were to happen, you can catch it immediately and report it to your bank.
  7. Sign up for alerts. See what type of fraud alert system your card provider has in place and take advantage of it.
  8. Above all, trust your instincts. If you suspect foul play, or if you’re in doubt about the authenticity of a machine, use a different machine or payment method.

Cardholders Will See Changes at Point-of-Sale

Here are some new scenarios that might be encountered by Advantage Checkcard holders for transaction authorization and posting:

  • The merchant terminal may ask for a signature but route the transaction to a PIN debit network.
  • When a cardholder is given the option to choose “credit,” the transaction may not be routed to Visa. And, a cardholder may be prompted for a signature instead of a PIN if they choose “debit.”
  • Some merchants may not allow the cardholder to choose “credit” to opt out of PIN entry at the terminal.
  • The merchant may not ask for either a PIN or signature. The major networks announced in June 2018 that a signature is now optional for all chip-enabled merchants. PIN networks have announced that PIN entry would be optional for all purchases. Overall, the number of “No Cardholder Verification Method (CVM)” transactions is expected to grow.

Cardholders with rewards or affinity cards (cards that earn benefits for schools, community projects, etc.) may see the opportunity to earn rewards and benefits dwindle.

At this time, there are only a few merchants using the signature-for-PIN debit option but authorization and routing changes will be made by more merchants as they look to reduce their costs and speed checkout times.

VRU Updates Improve PIN Security

The VRU is an automated system that handles card activation and PIN changes via the telephone.

When a cardholder calls the VRU to change their PIN, the VRU will prevent the cardholder from selecting a new PIN that has repetitive digits (e.g., 1111) or sequential digits (e.g., 1234 or 4321) or that matches the last four digits of their Social Security or Tax Identification number.

If a cardholder attempts to change their PIN to one of these prohibited numbers, the VRU will announce, “Your new PIN does not meet our security standards.” If the cardholder makes three failed attempts, the VRU will direct them to contact their financial institution.

In addition, cardholders can now set a PIN that begins with a zero.

The telephone number for the VRU is printed on all card mailers: 1-877-219-4344.

These changes are effective immediately.

 

Make sound decisions about charitable giving

Americans are the most generous donors in the world, and, on average, households in South Dakota and Minnesota generously gave 4.1 percent of discretionary income to charity.

Here is some information to help you make sound decisions about charitable giving:

Before giving to any charity, ask yourself: What’s my realistic budget for charitable contributions? What really inspires me and how can I make the greatest impact?

In order for the donor to receive a tax deduction for a donation, the charity must be a qualified 501(c)3 organization. The I.R.S. has a searchable database of charities where you can verify that the organization holds this status.

The Better Business Bureau’s The BBB Wise Giving Alliance provides a national-level seal of approval with its Standards for Charity Accountability. There are 20 standards that a charity must satisfy. If some standards are not met, consumers will see that in the charity’s listing. In addition, the BBB states that a charitable organization should spend at least 65 percent of its money on program activities — that is, activities directly related to its cause.

Charity Navigator and Guidestar are two online sources of information about the structure and performance of many nonprofit organizations.

Never make a donation to a telephone solicitor. The solicitor might not even be legitimate. Telephone charity scams use names similar to those of well-known organizations, or they may say they are raising money for causes that tug at the heartstrings, such as supporting military families, veterans or police officers. In reality, your money will be used simply to profit the person calling.

Email and social media scams and misinformation abound. Before clicking on a link or forwarding information, do some research at the sites listed above or www.snopes.com, a fact-checking and Internet reference source.

Mailed donation requests may also be fraudulent; do your homework before giving.

You can make a greater impact by making your donation part of a matching program. Does your employer make a matching donation? Is there another matching option, for example, during a telethon, on giving Tuesday or a donation drive?

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Business Checkcards make purchasing fast and easy!

Business Checkcards can be used for equipment, monthly utility payments, office supplies, and more! Business Checkcard holders have access to account funds at over a million ATMs and millions of merchant locations.

Several cards can be ordered for each business, allowing employees access to company funds without carrying the business checkbook. Each employee will have his or her name printed on the card along with the business name for easy recognition.  Each card can have customized spending limits to determine the amount of access each cardholder has to company funds.

 Protection against fraudulent use of a Checkcard, including transactions made via telephone or on the Internet.

Business Debit programs must offer these core Visa enhancements to cardholders.  These enhancements include:

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Purchase Security/Extended Protection
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Service
  • Emergency Card/Cash Disbursement
  • Cardholder Inquiry Service
  • Lost/Stolen Card Reporting.

Visa Savings Edge provides Advantage Business Checkcard holders discounts on qualifying purchases at participating merchants. All Advantage member institution Business Checkcard programs are automatically enrolled. A mobile app is available for cardholders to download. http://www.VisaSavingsEdge.com

Rewards
Your institution may choose to offer a rewards program for your Business Checkcard holders. Rewards enhance cardholder relationships and encourage increased Checkcard usage, earning additional interchange for the financial institution.

Small Business Owner Resources
Cardholders can share advice, resources and ideas for taking care of a small business. This free page offers connections with other small business owners, a variety of blogs and helpful videos. https://www.facebook.com/visasmallbiz

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