How Did My Card Get Compromised?


Thieves need only a minute, sometimes a second to steal your card data.  Not all card schemes are complicated; many are simpler than you’d imagine.  

Here are 4 of the most common ways thieves steal your card information:

1) Skimming Devices

These are small electronic/data transmitting devices that are used by fraudsters to illegally collect data from the magnetic stripe of your card.  Skimming devices have been found on gas station pumps, ATM’s, retail card terminals, and even on handheld devices utilized by salespeople.  Skimmers are crafted to look identical to the actual card scanning device on which they are installed.  These skimmers are placed there when no one is around or while there is a distraction.  Later, fraudsters will retrieve the skimmer and use the collected data to create counterfeit cards or sell the card information to other fraudsters on the black market for fraudulent e-commerce purchases.

2) Phishing

Phishing starts when a consumer receives an official-looking e-mail from a business.  The e-mail looks in every respect like one from a trusted source, such as a bank or merchant.  The fraudulent e-mail will typically claim to be doing a security check, requiring the customer to verify private information such as date of birth, Social Security number, three-digit security code on the back of your card, etc.  The email may also contain a link to a fictitious website that appears to be the merchant’s or business’ website.  When you click on this website, the site installs malware on your computer that captures your keystrokes.  The malware is installed without any visible indicators, so you never realize that you are being watched every time you type a username, password, card number, expiration date, etc.  A good indicator of fraudulent or phishing emails is that they're usually littered with spelling mistakes.

3) Merchant Compromises

During merchant compromises, fraudsters hack into a merchant’s or card processor’s computer network and steal customer card data.  Unfortunately, there is nothing you can personally do to protect a merchant from getting hacked or prevent your card number from landing in the hands of the fraudster when a merchant is compromised.  However, you can rest assured that the State Bank of Cross Plains will take every action necessary to protect you in the event that your card number is involved in a compromise. 

4) Restaurant Scheme

How it works: A waitress/waiter whisks away your credit card and swipes it through the restaurant’s card terminal, which is out of sight.  They then pull out a skimmer, about the size of an ice cube, and swipes your card through it.  The waitress/waiter then returns your card to you.  This is done to dozens of cards in a week.  This information is then sold to a fraudster that will counterfeit the card and/or use the information for e-commerce transactions.

What can you do?

The next time you find yourself at a gas pump or any freestanding point of sale, take the time to carefully inspect the card-reading device before you swipe your card.  A gentle tug on the card slot should help reveal if it is authentic or not.

Always be wary of any email or a text message that asks you to provide personal information by replying to a message or clicking on a link, especially when it is unsolicited.  Do not click on any links or images from unknown senders.  Only enter your card information on secure websites that have “https” or a lock symbol that appears in the site address.

Regularly monitor your account statements and notify your financial institution or card company whenever you spot something suspicious.  Always shred confidential information before discarding.  At the first sign of suspicious activity on your card or if you realize it is missing call your issuer immediately to suspend your account. You can contact the State Bank of Cross Plains to report suspicious activity or a lost/stolen card at (855) 256-7328.

We can help!

State Bank of Cross Plains has fraud detection that monitors every card transaction, 24/7.  If suspicious activity is detected on your card, we will contact you right away.  In the case of a compromise, you will not be responsible for any unauthorized transactions on your card if notification is made in accordance with our account agreements. 

State Bank of Cross Plains offers a powerful tool called Card Manager to help our customers better protect and manage your credit and debit cards.  Set up your card alerts today!

Monitor your accounts securely 24/7 with the State Bank of Cross Plains online and mobile banking.

In the event your card has been compromised the State Bank of Cross Plains offers Instant Issue cards.  You can stop at our Cross Plains, Verona, Madison, Middleton West, Waunakee, or Mount Horeb locations to get your new card. 

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