Friday, November 6, 2015

ATM’s– Scammers are Innovating to Take Your ID at the ATM

ATM skimmers have been around for several years. Skimmers are devices that are surreptitiously placed on an ATM machine to record the account information on the magnetic tape of your credit or debit card when you swipe it in the ATM. The Skimmer equipment is often designed to blend in to the ATM and is often hard to spot.

With at advent of chip cards, in Mexico, scammers have developed a new device called a “shimmer” that tries to capture the information on the chip. The shimmer is designed to cover the ATM’s chip reader so that the shimmer can also read the card’s chip.  

In Europe, security officials have noticed the use of an “insert skimmer” which is a wafer-thin device that fits inside the slot that you insert your card into. Insert skimmers are much harder to detect.

The scammer may have your account information, but without the PIN number he cannot get into your account. An easy way for the scammer to get that information is to hide a pinhole camera near the ATM’s keypad. They get clever by placing the pinhole cameras on a false panel above the keypad, beside the keypad, behind convex mirrors, or even false fire alarms.

AARP’s Fraud Watch Network recommends that when you are at an ATM:

·         Examine the ATM before entering your card. Look for parts that have different colors than the rest of the machine. Look for unusual equipment at the mouth, keypad, sides or overhead. Wiggle the slot. If it is not securely attached, go to another ATM.

·         If you see an out-of-service message, go to another location. In one scam, out-of-order signs were placed on ATM’s to steer victims to a compromised ATM.

·         Before inserting your card, try several keys such as “enter,” cancel,” and “clear.” A sticky keypad could be a ruse to prevent you from completing your transaction. When you leave to complain about the problem, a fraudster can come up to the machine and complete your transaction to withdraw cash.

·         Always cover the keypad as you enter your PIN! By protecting your PIN in this way, if a scammer does get your account number, he will not have your PIN to get into your account.

AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Krebs on Security:

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