Tuesday, October 30, 2018

How to avoid the ATM skimming

The ATM skimmers are always a hot topic fraudsters show up when with their skimming device just before the start of the traveling season or the busy holiday season. So a while ago I wrote about what the ATM skimmer is and how it works. This is a post on how to avoid and identify an ATM that may have been tampered with. There are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself from one of these devices from gaining access to your account.

The actual skimmer device is very flimsy so when you walk up to the ATM take a few moments to check the machine for anything out of the ordinary.  Look for marks such as glue or tape marks around the insert device and check for scratches. Sometimes they don’t get the color correct on the fake skimmer so look to make sure the card insert is the same color as the actual ATM. You can use the ATM next to the one you are about to use as a color guide.  Lastly pull on the card insert device if it comes loose that is not an ATM you want to use.

Once you have completed your check of the ATM then look for a box above the keyboard. Unfortunately wireless cameras have gotten smaller over the years and work very well so the camera can be almost anywhere on the ATM. You want to look for a small box or a hole in the ATM if you see a hole above the ATM keyboard chances are there is a camera and you do not want to use that ATM.

When selecting an ATM do not use an ATM that is rarely used.  For example if you have a bank that is off to the side that has very little traffic no very visible  or monitored daily you may want to avoid this ATM.  What the thieves look for is an ATM that is out of sight this way they can install the device and leave it for a period of time over the weekend. Once they have gathered some account information they will remove the device before Monday morning. Chances are your bank will not know they were a victim of the Skimming device until the start of the new week. 

So take some time to check the ATM before you use it

I hope this is helpful and please leave a comment

Mark Carbajal

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