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Financial Resources for Members
Spring 2019
Inserting card to atm machine to withdraw or transfer money finance_ bank and people concept
What are ATM Skimmers?
Skimmers are illegal card readers attached to ATMs. These card readers grab data off a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe without your knowledge. Criminals sell the stolen data or use it to buy things online. You won’t know your information has been stolen until you get your statement or an overdraft notice.

Click here to watch this information video from Consumer Reports.
Young man using his debit card to pay for gasoline
Look For Gas Pump Skimmers

With the summer travel season in upon us, the FTC is warning drivers about skimming scams at the pump.

  • Choose gas pumps closest to and within sight of cashiers.

  • Look at the card reader slot and surrounding areas for anything that looks out of place, mismatched, or loose.

  • Make sure no one is watching you enter your PIN, or filming you on a cell phone.


Click here to learn more.
Some of the more common places where credit card skimming might occur include:

  • Gas Stations
  • ATMs
  • Retail Stores
  • Restaurants/Bars
Wallet with credit cards on white background.
10 Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Skimmer Incidents

  • Inspect the card reader, PIN pad, and the surrounding area. Check for obvious signs of tampering at the top of the ATM, gas pump, or other card reading device. Check near the speakers, the side of the screen, the card reader itself, and the keyboard. If something looks different, such as a different color or material, graphics that aren’t aligned correctly, or anything else that doesn’t look right, it might be a skimmer.

  • Compare nearby gas pumps, ATMs, or other card reading devices to see if they match. If there are any obvious differences, it might be a skimmer. For example, if one has a flashing card entry to show where you should insert the card and the other has a plain reader slot, something may be wrong.

  • Wiggle everything. Does anything move when you push or pull at it? Legitimate devices are solidly constructed and generally don’t have any loose parts. See if the keyboard is securely attached and just one piece.

  • Try to avoid situations where your card leaves your sight if you can help it. Store transactions should generally occur in your presence. While this may be more difficult in a restaurant setting, try to remain aware of the service provider, where they take your card, and for how long.

  • Check Security Tape. Many gas/service stations use security tape on the device to verify that no one has entered or compromised the device. If the security tape has been broken or if the security tape isn’t consistent on all devices, there may be reason for concern.

  • Avoid Using Your PIN at the Gas Pump. When you pay at the pump, you usually have the option to use it as a credit or debit card. It’s best to choose the credit option that allows you to avoid entering your PIN. When you use it as a credit card you usually only have to enter your billing ZIP code as verification which is much safer. It’s also generally safer to use a credit card versus a debit card, because it’s easier to stop payment or cancel a payment than it is when money’s already taken out of the account. Typically, the most you’d have to pay for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50, and if your funds are stolen, you won’t have to wait to recover your losses with an empty account.

  • Read Your Surroundings. Criminals are more likely to install a credit card skimmer in locations where they are less likely to be observed installing malicious hardware or collecting the harvested data. Readers located in poorly lit or more remote areas (for example gas pumps outside of easy view of employees) are more likely to be targeted.

  • What Day is It? The chances of getting hit by a skimmer, especially those used on ATMs, are higher on the weekend than during the week, since it’s harder for customers to report the suspicious activity. Criminals typically install skimmers on the weekend, and then remove them before business offices reopen on Monday.

  • Keep an Eye on Your Accounts. If you suspect that you might have had your card skimmed. Keep an eye on your account balance and report any suspicious activity immediately. Consider monitoring your checking account transactions daily on your bank’s website. You can also request “card not present transaction” notification. If someone tries to use your credit or debit card number online, you’ll be notified immediately.

  • Use Chip Technology When Possible. Rather than swiping the card, as you would for a card with a magnetic stripe, insert the card into a terminal slot during a transaction and then remove it once the transaction is complete. EMV cards provide a higher level of security. Unlike the magnetic stripe on a card, which contains data that remains the same, EMV cards change with each transaction and are basically impossible to predict.

Holiday Closing Notice

C-Plant Federal Credit Union will be closed in the observance of the following holidays:

Monday, May 27, 2019 for Memorial Day.


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The security of your information is very important to C-Plant FCU. C-Plant FCU will never ask you for secure information in an email or any other form of communication. To keep your C-Plant FCU accounts secure, never provide personal information such as PINs, account numbers, passwords, or social security numbers to anyone in an unauthorized form of communication.

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