FRAUD Squad police say card-skimmers have changed their tactics to fleece customers of their cash during the covid19 pandemic.
At a media briefing at Police Administration Building in Port of Spain on Friday, ASP Curtis Julien said scammers have shifted their focus from ATM machines to point-of-sale machines in businessplaces.
He said these devices record information from a customer's card and that data is used later to withdraw cash from the person's account.
Julien said the process requires the use of a skimming device by fraudsters and he urged the public to be more observant when using bank cards and credit cards to purchase items.
"Most people swipe their cards on these machines and do not pay attention to what is going on with the machine. They are usually preoccupied with something else but it is important to keep your eyes on your cards.
''As long as there is any suspicion that the activity taking place is fraudulent, you must raise a red flag and stop that transaction. Call your financial institution and ensure your money is intact, we need to be very vigilant,'' he cautioned.
Julien said while in some cases the cashier may not necessarily be aware that the machine is recording the customer's card information, business owners may be involved as the point-of-sale machines may be rigged to record and store information.
He admitted that while compromised point-of-sale machines are difficult to detect, there are anti-tampering devices installed in new machines to reduce the chances of skimming.
During the briefing, he demonstrated how – with the use of a specific machine – fraudsters transfer captured data onto blank cards which are then used to withdraw money from the victim's bank account.
''These skimmers are used for reading your information, capturing it and they only give receipts that say 'complication error' or 'transaction failed.'"
''Properly issued machines in TT and the Caribbean when tampered with will also process your transaction capturing your pin and your financial data which goes directly to the card reader where they process the information using a laptop, cellphone or any device with a bluetooth mechanism."
WATCH: How fraudsters harvest banking info when you swipe your card