Identity theft has become an increasingly bigger problem as technology advances. Between hackers, insecure websites and hidden cameras, you never know who might get access to your personal information. But how far as the latest skimming technology come?
Apparently there are multiple inexpensive state of the art devices that attach to your smart phone to thermally capture and display which keys you pressed at the ATM up to a minute or two after your fingers have left the keypad!
Todd Coutu, our super savvy IT Specialist, has provided a few ways to make sure thieves won’t get a hold of your card or PIN number:
Avoid Identity Theft– Don’t Get Skimmed!
- Metal keys tend to lose the heat signature very quickly. If the pad has metal keys, simply wait a few extra moments to ensure the key have lost any heat remaining from your entry before you leave
- Plastic keys can hold onto your thermal signature for a minute or more and require some extra care. To mask your keystrokes on a plastic keypad, make sure to place your hand over all of the keys for a second or two after you enter your PIN. This will show all the key having an equal heat signature and give the thieves nothing to work with.
- In addition to thermal cameras, thieves will use coatings on the keys, and electronic devices actually attached to the ATM to capture your PIN and card number. For these scams, there is no better protection than common sense and awareness of your surroundings. Spend an extra second or two to make sure everything with the machine you are using seems right. Better to walk away and find another ATM than to get scammed.
There are many other ways common criminals can get a hold of your most important credentials so it’s vital that you protect your information by being cautious, especially when using the internet. If identity thieves gain access to your bank accounts or apply for a new credit card or utility account in your name without your knowledge, large debts could accumulate connected to your name and social security number. Make sure to check your accounts daily to see if there is any suspicious activity.
To contact a certified credit councelor, visit ConsumerCredit.com or call 800-769-3571 today.