Protect yourself from POS Skimmers: A guide for buyers

Protect yourself from POS Skimmers: A guide for buyers

POS systems were rolled out by IBM in the 1970s, and today there are over a hundred software vendors making software for POS. The beauty of POS system

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POS systems were rolled out by IBM in the 1970s, and today there are over a hundred software vendors making software for POS. The beauty of POS systems is that it makes all transactions convenient for both buyer and sellers. There are currently a total of 108.4 m contactless cards currently in issued in the UK. This indicates that the POS market is enormous.  The systems that offers this ease of transaction unfortunately comes with a major disadvantage – a likelihood to be defrauded. POS fraud can happen to anybody who uses a POS system – whether merchant or buyer.

Vendorside protection are often incorporated in the ePOS software the vendor decides to use. An example is the fraud protection provided by this ePOS software created by Vend a world leading online ePOS software vendor. Other solutions exist for a vendor to be protected from POS fraud but this article focuses on how you as a buyer, can protect yourself from POS/Debit card skimming.

Skimming can affect both your bank account and your identity. To guard against it here a few things you need to do:

Identify POS tampering

Learn to identify the equipment that could be used for card skimming which consists of a skimmer, a camera and an overlay. Before you use your card at POS or at ATM a simple inspection can often tip you off about the safety of the POS and whether or not it has been tampered with.

Blocking

Even if you inspect and suspect nothing wrong with the POS, it is always a good idea to block any view of the keypad while you type in your PIN number. You could use the palm of the other hand to do this so any eye or camera view is blocked.

Shake the POS machine

If you’ve studied the POS it seems unsafe, or even if it seems safe to you, try giving it a light shake. A hollow sound, or a light rattle means you should not trust it.

Constant Checks

Your bank statement, credit statements, and your credit reports should be reviewed constantly. Doing all these is a good way to make sure that even if your identity has been stolen, you can catch abnormalities in your reports and report any suspected fraud sooner rather than later.

When in doubt, use credit

When you use credit, if you are a victim of fraud, all you would need to do is prove that it was not a genuine purchase from you and then the bank will have to take responsibility for the rest.

Refuse help

One way for fraudsters to gain access to your information is to offer to help you at the POS/ATM. Don’t worry about being rude, just politely decline and figure it out on your own. Sometimes the POS has been tampered with so it rejects all PINs and then the “good Samaritan” offers to help and gets access to your details that way.

Frequent alerts

Setting up daily alerts with your bank is another way to quickly catch on if there’s something wrong with your account. As it is with all crimes, the sooner you are able to report it, the better.