Money 8 years ago Share Tweet I barely use cash anymore. I have a few washed-out dollar notes tucked inside my wallet that likely will never see daylight. Instead, I swipe my durable debit card on a daily basis. No matter how small the purchase, I choose to swipe my credit card rather than fork over the cash. Call it lazy, call it irresponsible, but I’m not alone. More and more people are skipping the trip to the bank and handing over that little piece of plastic for their goods. That is a whole bunch of transactions and exchanges of information going on. Sure it’s convenient, but are we risking our credit security and financial data every time we swipe? New Trend in credit card fraud New Trend In Credit Card Fraud There are countless news stories covering credit card fraud. People lose entire savings accounts with little warning and reports of fraud are on the rise. Close to one third of Australians have reported credit card fraud in the past five years, and thieves are getting clever about scanning those magnetic strips and stealing those 16-digit codes. Brett King, author of “BANK 2.0” and founder of Movenbank says there is an out-dated technology making our cards more susceptible to fraud. “The current system based on magnetic stripe and signature is fairly simple to compromise in security terms. The EMV Chip and PIN standard widely used in Europe and Asia dramatically reduces risk of fraud; however, Australia has been slow to adopt this standard. You should request a CHIP-based debit or credit card from your bank/credit union instead of a magnetic stripe-based card.” According to recent news reports there’s been a new trend in credit card theft, and these thieves are banking on our cards outdated technology. Multimillions of dollars have been stolen from virtual credit card skimming where a fake card reader is placed over a card-entry slot and a pinhole camera records personal identification numbers when unsuspecting people use an ATM. Pretty scary right? These altered ATMs look and run like normal, making them hard to spot with a naked eye. While banks and credit card companies are constantly upping their security systems to safeguard consumers against these types of fraud, there are some precautions you can take to lower your risk of becoming a victim. Be Aware. When using an ATM, check for anything out of the ordinary. If any lights are flashing or the card reader seems to be running slower than usual, report to the bank and local police. Cover Up. When you enter your four-digit security code use your other hand to cover the numbers. This will hide your code from cameras. Look Behind You. If someone seems to be looking over your shoulder or standing too close when you are at the ATM, let him or her go before you and wait until you have more privacy. Keep Track. These thieves are likely to extract small amounts from accounts, making it harder to detect. It’s best to keep track of your account online. Experts suggest looking at your account at least once a week. This way you will remember those small purchases you made and will be more likely to see notice fraud. With the use of debit and credit cards growing, you need to make sure your information is safe and sound in your wallet. While new technology could lower your risk, it’s important to take on your financial responsibility and pay close attention to where you buy and who comes in contact with those oh-so-precious pieces of plastic.