Who’s after your bank cards and how

Stealing money from a bank card is more difficult than taking it from a wallet. Nevertheless, swindlers are mastering new technologies and have learned to pick up keys even to bank cards.

What information about your card do the fraudsters need

They need your card details, i. e. card number, cardholder’s full name, expiration date, us bank, card verification code (three digits on the card reverse side, e. g. CVV or CVC), and PIN code. Also a code from the SMS for confirming payments and transfers on those sites where payments must be confirmed by such a code.

The place of action: a store or a cafe

  1. You pay with a usual bank card

The attacker could be a service or trade employee. A waiter, cashier or sales assistant accepting your bank card can take a picture of the credit card data (card number, expiration date, owner’s name, and the code on the back) and then pay with it online.

How to prevent it?

When paying, try not to lose sight of your card. And enter the PIN code so that no one else can see it.

  1. You pay through a terminal, but the payment does not go through

In the cafe waiter brings you the POS terminal, you pay, but then the waiter says that the payment has failed and asks you to enter the pin-code again. By doing this, you risk paying twice.

How can you prevent it?

Set up SMS notifications of payments. Be sure to ask for a receipt with a failure or rejection notice (POS terminal always prints one).

  1. You pay with a contactless payment card

With cards with a contactless payment system, you can pay with one-touch instantly if your payment does not exceed a certain limit. You don’t have to enter your PIN code. Attackers can steal money from such a card by leaning the reader or POS-terminal to the bag.

How to prevent it?

To prevent contactless payment without your knowledge, it is better to keep the card in a shielded compartment of your wallet, bag or a special case for bank cards.

Location: ATM

The most common way to steal card details (number, owner’s name, expiration date) when using a card at an ATM is to install a skimmer on the ATM. This is a special device that copies data from the card’s magnetic stripe. The PIN code could also be stolen by installing a hidden camera or a false keyboard on the ATM. The fake keyboard is installed just above the original one, and the ATM reacts to clicks as usual – you will not even notice that something goes wrong. 

Attackers, using stolen data, can make a copy of your card.

How to prevent it?

The skimmer is only able to steal information from the magnetic stripe, but not from the special chip.

Check the ATM: there are no extraneous devices on it. The keyboard should not differ in texture, and be even more wobbly. When entering the PIN code always cover the keyboard with your free hand, so that no one can peek.

Try to use ATMs inside bank branches. They are more often checked and better guarded.

It is best if the ATM has “wings” for the keypad – it is impossible to put a superimposed keypad on them, as well as more difficult to spy on your PIN code.

Location: anywhere

You receive an alarming text message or call from a relative

From an unknown number an alleged relative writes or calls you and says that he is in trouble and needs money urgently, but does not have time to explain the situation. Such messages are often manipulated by the urgency of the situation and sent at an extremely inconvenient time, for example, at night.

How to prevent this?

Do not rush to transfer the money. Try to find out the details – long conversations are not usually part of the intruders’ plans. If you don’t manage to find out anything out, call a relative on whose behalf the caller is trying to find out if he/she is calling/texting you.

Protect yourself from scammers:

  1. Connect your mobile bank to track transactions you didn’t make. This way you can quickly respond to fraudsters – and time is very important in this case.
  2. Don’t keep large sums of money on the card you carry and use for everyday spending.
  3. If you plan to use your card for purposes other than America, make sure you tell your bank employees.
  4. Tell your elderly relatives about the tricks of fraudsters – they are most often the target of intruders.

What to do if you faced fraud?

If your bank card has suddenly been debited with money:

  1. Call the bank as soon as possible (the number is on the back of the card), report the fraudulent transaction, and block the card.
  2. Go to your bank branch and ask for a statement of account. Write a statement of disagreement with the operation. Keep a copy of the application with the bank’s confirmation of receipt.
  3. Report the theft to the law enforcement authorities.

The bank will review the claim within 30 days. If the operation was international, it will take 60 days.


After receiving your statement, the bank will conduct an official investigation and decide on the issue of compensation. If you have observed the security measures and contacted the bank no later than the day after it informed you of the illegal transaction you can count on being reimbursed. But if you yourself told the wrongdoers the PIN or SMS code needed to confirm payments and transfers, unfortunately, the bank will not pay you back.

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