I am glad to see that the media does warn people that this happens. Ottawa still has a fair number of “shadey” folks who are trying to steal money from you, any way they can figure out.
I have seen examples of how these kind of scams work, I guess the only advise I can give is watch what the employee does with your card, don’t just turn your back and assume they are doing the right thing. You are giving this person access to your bank account, so treat the transaction with a certain amount of due diligence.
A gas station locally used to have employees who would swipe your card twice, once to clone the card and once to put the actual transaction through and then had a “pin snatcher” on the line as well, so the cloned card could actually be used as well. This is why it is useful to have “working” bank accounts where your balance does not get too large, and thus if someone does “snarf” your card, they can’t get that much money (hopefully you can recover the stolen funds, but it might take a while too).
Fraud is out there, be diligent folks.
I wonder why PNC Bank has been trying to get my wife and I to sign our name on every purchase instead of using our pin. PNC Bank says that signing our name on purchases costs them less than us signing our name. Is this true? PNC Bank is pitching the “you can earn points with your purchases by using our debit card”. Again, I’d like to know why they’re pushing the debit card so hard. Having said all that, I’m becoming leery of using our debit cards. Would be better off, budgeting advantages aside, using cash to make purchases that normally a debit card could be used for?
There’s a few main things you can do to protect yourself.
Cover your pin, ALWAYS. That’s why it says right on the machine.
Here in Halifax though, organized crime repalced the whole front plate of a major machine and it actually had fake buttons to grab your pin. Nothing’s 100%
Use cash or credit card. I’m sick of debit fees anyway, I just carry small amounts of cash. A credit card is better to use because your are not liable if it’s stolen, not always true with a bank card (though they usually will).