Top 3 Ways To Help You Avoid Identity Theft From Skimmers

Top 3 Ways to Help You Avoid Identity Theft from Skimmers While Traveling

Being Mindful Along The Way

Identity Theft Travels
Traveling is fun but it can also be the perfect time for identity thieves to attack. It doesn't matter whether you’re traveling to another state or another country, it can happen. 

Here are some ways to help protect your identity while traveling:

1. Be careful when using ATMs. 
One technique used to steal identities at ATMs is called skimming. Here, thieves have the ability to attach a device that scans the magnetic strip of the card. This obtains the information they need to copy it. They can also use a hidden camera to record the PIN so they can pretend to be you and open your account. 

To avoid this, consider using ATMs located inside banks as they are less likely to be tampered with. Before using any ATM, you may want to inspect it first. If anything seems wrong, try calling the bank to check before using it.

2. Use cash or credit instead of debit.
There have also been cases where skimmers have been found installed in gas pumps. Using cash or credit can be safer than a debit card (where you’ll have to enter your password). A PIN number is just another element that can make the process easier for identity thieves, as they can use a “keypad overlay” to gain access to your four digit password. Using cash or credit can help eliminate this risk. 

3. Get a chip-and-PIN card.
Chip-and-pin cards don’t have a magnetic strip that can be easily copied. Instead, they have a microchip that often requires a PIN before it can be used. 

These cards are popular in Europe and Asia, but not as much in the US. So if you want to use one card for both domestic use and traveling, consider getting a combined ‘chip’ and ‘strip’ card. Ask your bank if they have one that has both a strip and a chip. These can be a safer and more convenient option.

Skimmers are on the constant lookout for victims, but being aware of their existence and their common tricks can help prevent the chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.