Scammers may be getting trickier, but banks are also getting smarter. And you can be smart too when you visit an ATM with your debit card.
Law enforcement agencies are seeing an increase in ATM skimming – attaching a small device to an ATM to read and steal a card’s magnetic stripe data. By stealing this data, a scammer can create a counterfeit card with your information.
ATM skimmers may be tricky little devices, but with a sharp eye – you can spot them and avoid falling victim to this scheme.
Here are couple things to look for:
From the side, you can see that an additional piece has been added to this card reader. That top part? That’s the skimming device.
See how this one extends too far from the machine? That’s a clue that a skimmer has been attached.
Here’s another one. This skimmer not only sticks out too far, but it is also a different color than the rest of the ATM machine.
And this one. The card slot appears to be a different shape – that’s a giveaway. You can also look for unusual scratches, gouges or other physical damage to the surface of the ATM; the presence of sticky tape, Velcro residue or other adhesives that may indicate a skimmer has been attached; or misaligned or protruding components to the ATM.
Skimmers can capture your card number, but what about your PIN? Scammers have thought about that too.
By placing a pin pad overlay device next to the card skimming device, a scammer can not only read your card information, but they can get your PIN too.
Otherwise, they might use a small camera hidden from view to try to record your PIN when you enter it.
Keep an eye out for loose ceiling tiles above an ATM in a lobby that may indicate hidden cameras or transmitters and watch for any unusual behavior around the ATM for someone that might be “staking out” the machine to retrieve stolen data.
ATMs are a great way to get cash fast. But criminals are taking advantage of this convenience. Keep a sharp eye out. If you notice anything on an ATM that doesn’t “look right,” don’t use your debit card there and let the business where the ATM is located know of any suspicious devices. Stay safe out there!
We work hard to protect you against debit card fraud. If you do notice any kind of suspicious activity on your account, please do not hesitate to call our Customer Support Center at 888.343.3040. You can also take steps to report a lost a stolen card by calling the debit card company directly.