As debit card use has risen, so has debit card fraud — key targets are atms, grocery stores and gasoline pumps.
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The number of debit card fraud cases in which sensitive account details, including debit card numbers and PINs, are “skimmed” from ATMs and retail swipe machines has jumped substantially in recent years, say FICO researchers.
To skim customers’ information, fraudsters attach small electronic devices to payment machines, such as ATMs, and use the devices to covertly scan and save the sensitive information stored on a card’s magnetic stripe. Fraudsters can then take that information and use it to pay for goods online, where a physical card isn’t needed. Or they can use it to create a new counterfeit debit card.
This kind of card-not-present fraud is now one of the leading sources of debit card fraud, says Doug Clare, vice president of product management at FICO. Counterfeit and stolen debit cards are also common, he says, but aren’t nearly as popular with fraudsters.
“As with credit, card-not-present is the most common category of fraud impacting [debit] accounts,” says Clare. It’s also the costliest. More money has been lost to card-not-present scams than to any other type of debit card fraud, according to FICO research.