Electronic Fraud: Debit or credit card cloning

bankomat-skimmingElectronic fraud is a growing crime in Venezuela. However, some measures applied by financial institutions have helped reduce card cloning significantly, but con artists now prefer to commit their crimes using the Internet.

In order to clone cards, criminals use a device called “skimmer,” which they manage to install on ATMs and POSs. The purpose of these devices is to copy the information on the debit or credit cards so that the criminals can then clone them.

How do they clone debit or credit cards on ATMs and commercial establishments?

  1. Criminals carry a skimmer on their pockets (used to read and store cards’ information).
  2. The device is installed on an ATM or, if the subject happens to work in a store, he/she waits for the client to pay and swipes the card through both the bank terminal and the skimmer (this takes only 4 seconds).
  3. Having stored the data, they then connect the skimmer to a computer and download the information.
  4. Finally, they swipe a card with a blank magnetic stripe through a credit card coder, in order to pass the information from the computer to the blank card.

Besides cloning the card, subjects can also fake the buyer’s Id with the help of a store clerk in order to commit successive frauds. Now, if the perpetrators only wanted to make online purchases without duplicating the physical card, they would only get to step three.

Our recommendation is to always keep your credit or debit card on sight and to use them in well-known, serious establishments.



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