For years, scammers have used a small device on ATMs, gas pumps, and other terminals, to harvest credit card information. As technology has improved, this form of “skimming” has become less effective. However, scammers aren’t deterred! Now, they use a technique called “e-skimming” to steal credit card data from online shoppers instead. 

How the Scam Works

  • Shop online at a reputable website; however, hackers may have infiltrated the company’s server and planted malware on the site.
  • They use their access to acquire your personal information, including debit or credit card information or even your social security number.
  • All to frequently you are unaware until the company learns of the breach, or you discover fraudulent purchases on your statement.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Keep a close eye on your statements. Check your bank and credit card statements regularly to confirm all charges. If you notice any suspicious activity, call your bank or credit card company immediately to report it. Use the customer service number found on the back of your card or on your monthly statement to make sure you are speaking with the real company.

  • Make online purchases with a credit card. Use your credit card instead of your debit card to make online purchases. It is much easier to dispute charges made with your credit card, plus getting money returned to your debit card can take time.

  • Consider using a virtual credit card. Some credit card companies and banks offer virtual cards to their clients. These provide a unique credit card number to use when shopping online that links to your regular account. If any unusual transactions are made, or the number is compromised, other charges are immediately declined.

Press release provided by the Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific