Scammers fail to claim cash

Local debit card holders had to change their PINs.

A debit skimming scam has hit Langley and Surrey residents, and local financial institutions had to warn some of their customers.

A compromised terminal – a possible debit card skimming point – caused financial institutions such as Coast Capital to warn some card holders to change their personal identification numbers.

“It affects cards from all financial institutions,” said Erin McKinley, a Coast Capital Savings spokesperson.

Coast Capital can’t talk about how many customers might have been affected, but McKinley said that because the cards were properly encrypted, no customers lost money. The cards affected won’t have to be replaced, just get new PINs.

The merchant services organizations that process debit and credit payments contact the authorities in cases like this, McKinley said.

A few tips can help avoid being the target of a debit skimming scam.

• Don’t share your PIN.

• Protect your PIN – keep a hand over the pad when typing it in, and don’t make it your birthday or address.

• Change your PIN regularly – every 90 to 120 days, or after returning from abroad.

• Keep your card safe, and treat it like cash.

• Be alert – if a debit card terminal or ATM looks suspicious, do not use it and alert management or your financial institution.


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