ATM Security Alert

ATM skimmers have increasingly become discovered throughout the world. In a typical arrangement, skimmers capture payment card data from the magnetic strip on the back of cards inserted into an ATM, while a pinhole spy camera hidden above or beside the PIN pad records time-stamped video of cardholders entering their PINs. This data allows thieves to fabricate new cards and use PINs to withdraw cash from victims' accounts.


How to protect yourself

1. Scrutinize the ATM. This means every ATM, even those from your bank. Check the card reader. If the reader does not match the color and style of the machine, is loosely or oddly fitted, it might be a skimmer. You should "shake" the card reader to check if there's something attached.

2. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN. In order to access your bank accounts, thieves need to have your card number and your PIN. By covering the keypad, you prevent cameras and onlookers from seeing your PIN.

3. Check your bank and credit card statements often. If you suspect any fraudulent activity, contact your financial institution immediately.

4. Be choosy. Don't use countertop ATMs at bars or restaurants. These are not monitored and can be easily tampered.

If you discover a skimmer and/or a pin-hole camera, call the number on the ATM to report it, or contact law enforcement immediately. Do not touch the device. Criminals are known to canvas the area where their skimmers are installed. If they see you removing their devices they are likely to approach you and take it back, which may be by force.