Why does my debit card keep getting cloned?
September 24, 2011 9:10 PM Subscribe
Twice, about year apart, I have had my debit card cloned, copied or otherwise made use of without my permission. The first was around a year ago. When I checked my account and found point-of-sale transactions for about $120 at two different locations, about 400 miles and two days apart. In states that I've never been to. Called my bank, card turned off, money reimbursed, etc etc. Then yesterday...
posted by Ookseer to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yesterday I give my statement the weekly look and I see two more point-of-sale transactions, hundreds of miles and two days apart. In states I've never been to. These were a bit different because they were obviously for gift cards (exactly $100.00 at two large retailers). Called the bank, new card, money coming back, etc etc.
What the heck? I like to think I know quite a bit about protecting myself. I know how skimmers work, I am mindful and know quite a bit about computer safety and security, I can even diagram an encryption algorithm for you if you want. I don't shop much online and only from reputable merchants. I follow all the other items on the Good Credit Card Hygiene lists.
I'm guessing these guys aren't complete amateurs since they're using POS, they must have made up a real physical card. And I'm assuming my PIN. (Though they might be using it as a credit card.)
I've changed cities and banks since the first time! So clearly I'm doing something wrong. What? Is it card skimming? I'm usually pretty good about covering my PIN and using ATMs that are familiar so I can spot skimming equipment. Is it full-on identity theft? Or is it more likely to be one of the hundred other ways someone could get my card info?
Mostly I want to know how they're doing it so I can protect myself better. I'm at a bit of a loss, and not using a credit/debit card isn't really an option. Any ideas besides going back to bartering?