ATM skimming ― how to spot ATM skimmers (VIDEO)

People use Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) automated teller machines (ATMs) at a branch office in Singapore, February 15, 2014. — Reuters pic
People use Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) automated teller machines (ATMs) at a branch office in Singapore, February 15, 2014. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, July 29 — This animation explains the practice of automatic teller machine (ATM) skimming, a common form of fraud that involves a compromised ATM that allows criminals to access bank accounts.

According a survey published in April 2016, such incidents increased 546 per cent from 2014 to 2015 in the United States. The data came from financial analytics company FICO and FICO Card Alert Service software, which also states that 60 per cent of the incidents took place at non-bank ATMs.

ATM skimming usually employs two separate components. First, a fake card reader is fitted onto the ATM’s card slot. It scans and stores the information on the card’s magnetic strip as it slides through.

Then, a pinhole camera hidden on or near the ATM records the PIN entered on the keypad. Alternatively, a fake keypad is placed on top of the real one to record the digits entered.

To avoid becoming victim to skimming fraud, one must check for any objects mounted on the ATM or near it. Comparing the ATM being used to another nearby can help spot suspicious differences.

Examine any mounted parts by pulling them to see whether they are securely attached. Feel the keypad for its sensitivity and check whether it was placed on top of a real one.

The research also reports that 60 per cent of incidents took place at non-bank ATMs. You might want to avoid using ATMs in malls, for instance, and stick with those located outside or inside your bank.

According to PCMag, one should examine any mounted parts by pulling them to see if they are securely attached. Also, try to feel the keypad for its sensitivity and check if it was placed on top of a real one. — Bloomberg

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