afpop - 06-05-2020
As Members are aware the use of cards as a method of payment is increasing and is the desired way of payments by most banks: according to the Report of Payment Systems of the Bank of Portugal, the use of electronic payment instruments has increased dramatically, with the number of transactions carried out through the Multibanco system also increasing.
Of course for everything there is a good side and a bad side ... the bad side of this being the potential for cloning of cards through ATMs and Automatic Payment Terminals.
Card cloning happens when all the information about a particular card; it’s card number and your Personal Identification Number (PIN) is copied from its magnetic strip through a mechanism, known as a skimmer, that fits into the ATM or automatic payment terminals. By copying this information from your card, the fraudster can then make a cloned card and obtain goods & services or make withdrawals of cash posing as the account holder.
To try to minimise the chance of a cloning scam, Members might consider avoiding using ATM machines in low-traffic areas, as these may be easier for the cloners to insert their devices into the machines and you may prefer in fact to use ATM machines inside banks or other buildings.
Of course, there are some precautions to take to avoid having the card cloned: When you make payments at a commercial establishment, never lose sight of your card; when entering the PIN code be discreet and try to make sure no one is trying to visualise it. Do not hand over your card for someone to make a transaction for you unless of course you know that person and trust them.
If you become aware that you have been a victim of cloned card, call your bank immediately to request cancellation of the card (most financial institutions have their own customer support line to deal effectively with such situations – so make sure that you have this number with you always).
Besides cloning of course it is also necessary to pay attention to online payments with your credit card. If you do a lot of shopping on the Internet, ideally your card has built-in 3D Secure service (a free service that allows you to make secure online payments by entering a one-time number code (one per purchase) sent by SMS to the cardholder's mobile phone).
Remember a bank will never ask you to reveal all your personal identifying information and will never ask you for a full password. They will not require you to send your personal information and if you are in any doubt about the identity of a caller, end the conversation and contact your bank by the number that you have for them, not one the caller may give you.
As soon as you detect any unauthorised use of your cards you must communicate it to the bank or credit company. Once they are informed they will usually be liable for any offenses that may occur from then on if they do not cancel the card immediately.
If you do not report the loss, theft or misappropriation of the card to the financial entity, you will have to bear all expenses incurred by unauthorised transactions. You should also file a complaint with the Judiciary Police, the PSP, the GNR or even the Public Prosecution Service - only in this way will you be able to find out the perpetrators of the crime.