In: Card Skimming

August 10th, 2021

What is a skimming attack?

Skimming Attack on your credit cards

What is a skimming attack?

Skimming is an illegal practice used by identity thieves to capture credit card information from a cardholder surreptitiously. In the Australian Fraud Statistics 2019-2020 this form of crime is on the rise big time.

Why do I need to be concerned about being a victim of a skimming attack?

In our digital age, skimming has become a growing problem. Criminals can use your skimmed details to clone a new card, make online purchases or sell to other criminals. Don’t fall victim to a skimming attack, at Armourcard we have your back covered.

I don’t need to worry, the banks will simply refund the amount from the skimming attack, no drama… right?

Unfortunately, in reality, it is a painful process to deal with when your credit cards details are stolen. Whilst most banks are improving their functions around catching potentially fraudulent transactions the process to remedy is long, and painful. It is good practice to check your credit card statements on a monthly basis and not rely on the bank to catch everything. Keep an eye out for very small withdrawals such as $0.01 or $1.00 or from other countries. Fraudulent charges can continue for months.

Your compromised credit card will be canceled while investigations are carried out. You will receive your new card in the mail. This step can take longer than any of us would like. Some banks ask you to allow two weeks for this process. Yes, you read that correctly. Two. Weeks. If the account is a debit account, it will likely be frozen while investigations are carried out. It is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report to see how much damage has been done.

So you have your new card, we’re able to prove the transactions were fraudulent, and the sun is shining again, right? Well, apart from those direct debits you have set up. You will need to contact every single company and update your card details. With any luck, your bank will send you the list to update. If you forget to update a direct debit you may find you end up with late fees. Now that’s a pain.

The latest statistics* for “card not present” fraud (where your card is not physically present for the transaction, such as when the details have been stolen) are frightening. Add the ATM skimming statistics and you start to understand why there is such a focus on protecting our credit card information.

Australia's latest skimming attack fraud figures2020 Australian Statistics on credit card fraud - Skimming Attack*Source: Australian Payments Network

So.. what is the best way to protect myself from a skimming attack and other types of fraud?

Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your data. Let’s review the basics:

  1. Be very cautious providing your credit card details online. Don’t click on a link from an email to make a payment. Ensure the website you are on is the one you think it is.
  2. Run a virus scan on your computer.
  3. When using an ATM give it a wiggle to check there is not a false front attached. Cover your hand when entering your PIN. Don’t share your PIN.
  4. Check your statements regularly – don’t rely on the banks to advise of any fraudulent activity.
  5. Keep your credit cards safe and secure from a skimming attack. Only take out the cards you will need and make sure you have an Armourcard next to it to prevent your data from being stolen.
  6. If you place your wallet in a safe box in a hotel make sure you have Armourcard RFID blocking technology protecting your cards and for passport protection look at our PassportBLOCK product  All these products help protect you from a Skimming attack.
  7. Keep up to date with scams to avoid becoming defrauded look at official websites for up to date information like Scamwatch and follow Armourcard on Facebook for the latest updates on how to protect yourself.
  8. Be extremely careful when using public USB ports or charging stations as you see in airports, shopping malls, and cafes as these charging ports can be used to skim your phone or devices. This crime is called ‘Juice Jacking‘ and is on the rise. The best way to prevent your devices from being hacked when charging is to you our DataBLOCK range of products
COVID 19 crime on the rise


  • COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise and has changed the way we live
  • Many people have lost their jobs and businesses are struggling
  • Unfortunately, in times like this, we see an increase in crime
  • It’s more important than ever to stay safe, be vigilant online and ensure your personal data is protected from criminals when you do leave the house

Read full article below

COVID 19 crime on the rise

It is not a fun time to be reading mainstream media or listening to the news. The world as we know it has changed dramatically and we are all playing catch up. As our focus is security and helping our customers stay safe we have been playing close attention to the media reports of increased crime.

Cyber-crime is a major area of concern with those self-isolating at home online and vulnerable to scams, particularly the elderly. A further concern is criminals posing as medical practitioners requesting, and gaining, access to personal medical data. The strong message is to stay alert and protect your personal information at all times.

Here we share a few short excerpts from a broad range of media outlets:

”A laid-off worker has incentives to shift the use of time toward illicit earnings opportunities since displacements reduce legal earnings opportunities. At the same time, dismissals lessen the opportunity cost of a worker’s time during the period of unemployment.”
“The old adage that idle hands are the devil’s workshop appears to have some truth to it,” said Votruba. “This unfortunate link (to weekday crimes) highlights the importance of psychological factors–such as mental distress, self-control, financial concerns and frustration–in determining counterproductive behavior.” story coronavirus layoffs crime Dated: 16/03/2020

Hover over image to reveal more

Criminals taking advantage of coronavirus anxiety

COVID-19 fraud schemes*

  • Telephone fraud – criminals call victims pretending to be clinic or hospital officials, who claim that a relative of the victim has fallen sick with the virus and request payments for medical treatment;
  • Card skimming – When you do go out to get supplies ensure your ‘contactless’ credit cards are secure as criminals and opportunistic people are utilising this technology to skim your card details. This crime has become even easier for everyday people to undertake with the emergence of NFC smartphones and a host of free card reading apps found online.
  • Phishing – emails claiming to be from national or global health authorities, with the aim of tricking victims to provide personal credentials or payment details, or to open an attachment containing malware.


^Excerpt marketwatch story

“Everyday life has essentially stopped in many countries in a bid to slow the virus, and some crimes have been declining. But reports of virus-related fraud are on the rise, along with concerns about hate crimes.”

The United Kingdom’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received more than 100 reports of virus-related scams, with losses totalling more than $1.1 million (970,000 pounds).

Meanwhile, marketing schemers have quickly pivoted to offering “senior care packages” that include hand sanitizer or even a purported vaccine, which doesn’t exist. Some falsely claim that Trump has ordered that seniors get tested.

It’s all a trick to get personal information that can be used to bill federal and state health programs, health officials said.

“It’s a straight-up ruse to get your Medicare number or your Social Security number under the guise of having a test kit or a sanitary kit sent to you,” Christian Schrank, assistant inspector general for investigations at Health and Human Services.”

^ story coronavirus related crimes are on the rise dated: 2020-03-25

“According to a new study of 1 million laid-off Norwegians^^ over 15 years, out-of-work people commit 60% more property crimes (such as theft, shoplifting, burglary, and vandalism) in the year after losing work and have 20% more criminal charges than when employed.++”

^^ research article

So consider these questions:

  • When people lose their paychecks, do they turn to crime more often?
  • When people are at home more, does that deter crime?
  • Will crime rates fall when police aren’t charging criminals the same way they used to?

++ article ‘how will corona virus related closures and quarantines affect crime rates’

Armourcard International will continue to keep you updated on the latest security concerns so you are protected throughout this crisis. Don’t forget to keep your wallet protected with an Armourcard when you leave the house.
Stay Safe.

5 BEST tips to protect you from ATM skimming

In light of the spate of ATM scams going on here and in Bali recently, it is time to look at ways to protect yourself.

ATM skimming (or physical skimming) has been around for years in-fact ever since the birth of automatic teller machines and the roll-out in the 1980’s. Lately the criminals are getting even more advanced in there brazen perpetration of this crime, from gas pumps to store terminals and even bank ATM machines it seems the criminal will stop at nothing to get your hard earned cash.

We at Armourcard know all about many types of skimming and Armourcard protects you from RFID wireless skimming of your ‘Tap & Go’ cards. ATM skimming (Your card details being skimmed at a machine) has no real protection other than your vigilance in protecting yourself every time your withdraw money from a ATM.

Here are our 6 best tips you should do when your at a ATM machine – EVERY-TIME

1. Always pull, push, shake and rattle where you put your card in (in-fact try to remove it) gently…

2. Drum, pull or push and rattle all around the ATM to see if anything else is loose like the keypad. (you may get some strange looks but it is worth it so you don’t get skimmed)

3. Look for a camera overhead or a pin-hole camera above the key pad or even in a pamphlet holder that are sometimes attached to an ATM (directed at the keypad)

4. Always cover your hand when putting in pin. (Yes obvious we know, but you would be surprised how many people forget this basic step. (Especially when your in a rush or being distracted)

ATM Skimming - Heat Signature for pin number5. After you have put your pin in, place your entire hand flat over every key on the keypad to transfer heat signature. (you do this because criminals are using your heat signature left by your fingers to get your pin-number, for example, the first digit of your pin will be cooler than the last digit you put in through the colour spectrum.) so a clever way to mess that up just places your hand over the keyboard for a second or 2. (This can be done while you wait for your cash)

Bonus Tip

Never re-put your pin number into retrieving your ATM card out of a machine, as shown in the recent Bali scams by doing this it opens up your account again for the criminals (often within the store after you leave) to come in and empty your card. If your card gets taken then leave it in the machine they cant empty your account without the open gateway (so do not put your pin in again which opens the gateway) accept your card is lost and call your bank.

By doing this you are helping to protect yourself from the way these criminals skim at these machines whether with a camera, heat signature or devices attached to machines.

Do it every time.

Travel Weekly Magazine and Website “Why Travel Insurance Won’t Protect Your Cards” 

A great article was written by HANNAH EDENSOR of Travel Weekly Magazine who recently interviewed our CEO Tyler Harris on the emergence of this new form of crime and how best to protect your credit cards and passport while your traveling.

Travel Weekly the highly respected travel magazine has spoken with Armourcard CEO Tyler Harris about how to best protect yourself while traveling from the new wave of skimming crime that can now lift your ePassports, credit cards and even hotel keys without you ever knowing.

Harris goes on to say

… its never been easier for organised criminals or even opportunitistic low level criminals to get your valued personal data, not just your credit card numbers but more importantly information that can lead to your identity being used for the means of identity theft.

Harris continues

… we believe that as a first lline of defence when traveling we need to start to take control of protecting our personal data, the hassle of being skimmed then trying to prove that to a financial insitution that the freud happened on the very least is time consuming and big hassle especially whilst traveling abroad.

Travel Weekly likes to help and give great advice to consumers about all things traveling this includes great destination articles, travel tips, and even some travel hacks from what to pack to how to spot a travel scam. We at Armourcard enjoyed our time chatting with them and them showcasing Armourcard to there readerships

Thanks to Travel Weekly Magazine for your support.

read the full article here on Travel Weekly Magazine