Thieves are increasingly targeting checkout machines at stores and supermarkets with sophisticated technology to gain access to your debit card account and pin numbers.
Using machines known as skimmers, thieves can record your card data and pin number when you swipe a debit card to pay for an item. The devices are often installed by thieves posing as repairmen who trick store employees into allowing them to work on the checkout card readers, USA TODAY notes.
Debit card data is highly prized by thieves since it permits direct access to checking accounts, meaning quick cash.
Consumers who find that their debit cards have been compromised have less protection compared to credit card users, especially if the breach occurs at a retail point of sale. Avoiding debit card use is the best defense against data thieves.
A number of major companies have been hit by thieves who breached card swipe terminals at retail locations, including Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).