Alert! Citibank Scandal Update: It’s Not Just Citibank…

Here’s what’s up with the Citibank card scandal. There’s an ATM crime wave. Not just Citibank customers but anyone could be at risk.

Thieves are stealing debit card information from third-party retailer’s sloppy systems and siphoning money off vulnerable accounts.

PIN codes are supposed to prevent such an attack, but the sheer number of compromised cards indicates the thieves snagged PIN codes as well. These PINs, which are supposed to be destroyed or disposed of after a transaction, can end up accidentally stored in temporary files or other nooks and crannies in poorly designed merchant software systems.

There’s tons of PIN terminals around the world and their oversight and maintenance is left to the individual merchant’s discretion.

If you’re concerned, until much more robust standards are demanded and implemented, choose getting hassled over getting hacked. Avoid PIN transactions and opt to sign a receipt instead.

Or, as David wrote in to remind us, do what they’ve been telling you to do all along: change your PIN frequently. Pick something memorable without it being your birthday or something silly that could easily be found by stealing your wallet. Something like, “I’ve got 3 front windows, 1 car, 2 cats and 0 aliens.”

Or pay in cold, hard, cash. Cash on the barrel head. Like your grandpappy did, you sissy.

Wave of ATM Fraud Indicates Criminals Upped the Ante [MSNBC] (Thanks to Melsky!)

Previously: Massive Citibank Alert: UPDATE