IAS Security Hero

Would You Have Spotted this ATM Fraud?


I don't know about you, but I cringe every time I go to an ATM nowadays.  "Why?" you ask.  Because I've heard of a lot of reports and seen a lot of pictures of ATM skimmers.  These devices attach to the front of an ATM where your card goes in.  When you insert your card, they scan it as well as the ATM.  Now they can create a copy of your card.

"That's ok," you think, because they don't have your pin.  Unfortunately, it is easy to overlay a fake number pad ontop of the real one as well.  When you type in your pin, they make a copy and the ATM receives the input.

These devices sell online for $1500-$1700 each, a small charge given the amount of PII available.

When they first came out, they were easy to spot.  I've seen articles showing pictures of ATM's with 2 card slots, one real, one fake.  But looking at the pictures from the one above, I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference.

My advice, when purchasing groceries or at some retailers, you can get cash back with your purchase.  This may help you avoid the ATM at all.  If you have to go to an ATM, try one that is inside of a bank building where an installation of one of these devices would be difficult.  If one of those is not available, use an ATM in a well lit, public area with a lot of witnesses.  It would be more difficult to install a skimmer without being noticed there.

And, by the way, for those of you who say, "this only happens overseas, we are safe," this incident was in Virginia.