Card cloning is real. The technology used is simple, cheap and almost invisible.
The criminals superglue a small card scanning device onto the card slot of an ATM. It resembles the regular card slot to avoid detection.
When you slide your card into the slot, the fake card reader scans your information and sends it to a laptop nearby via bluetooth connection. This means the scammer is nearby.
This alone doesn’t allow the criminal to gain full access to your account. They need your PIN number.
They get this by strategically placing a camera by the ATM to detect your PIN. Some also place a fake keypad over the real keypad to trace what buttons you punched.
When they get hold of all of your information, you know what happens to your account. It is emptied without your knowledge.
To avoid being a victim, check the card slot machine to see if it’s flashing the green LED light. If it is red or invisible, do not use the ATM. Report it to the bank immediately.
Also, when the card reader is wobbly, loose or looks damaged, don’t use the machine.
Try as much as possible to cover your PIN. We tend to cover it from people close to us. Always have it in mind that a hidden camera could be prying for your PIN.
Watch this edition of Hi-Tech on The Morning Call with Ismail Akwei for more.