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ATM Skimming grows more sophisticated


The proliferation of skimmers has put the ATM industry on alert.

“Skimming has historically been the number one fraud issue for the ATM channel, so it’s always been, on top of mind for our folks. The financial institutions generally do quite a bit in the way of countermeasures for skimming,” said David Tente, executive director in the U.S. for ATMIA, the ATM industry trade group.

“The ATM operators …are doing as much as they can to try to fight this… It’s an ongoing battle,” Tente added.

ATM manufacturers are working on new solutions. Diebold Nixdorf came out with a machine which has you insert your card lengthwise instead of width wide.

“The way we approach it is by changing the direction and way and how we read the magnetic strip on the card. And that simple change has been able to defeat all static skimming devices,” Diebold Nixdorf’s Bally said.

There are currently 7,000 ATMs using the technology around the globe. At this time skimmers only work on cards inserted the normal way. However, Bally admits nothing is 100 percent.

Here is how to protect yourself:

  • Check your bank statements regularly. Consumers have limited time to report unauthorized activity. “If you report it within two days of that unauthorized activity, then the bank will reimburse you for anything over $50,” said attorney Dyan Finguerra-Ducharm, a partner at Pryor Cashman. ” But if you wait… for your statement to come, then the law gives you 60 days in which to report. But because you’ve delayed and waited, you are responsible for the first $500 of the withdrawal.”
  • Watch for signs the ATM of gas pump may have been altered. Hadnagy suggests checking if gas pump security tape is at all altered. “Turn on your Bluetooth when you’re next to an ATM. or a gas pump and see if you see any weird networks that are popping up,” he said. Also, try to wiggle the card slot, if it moves at all you should use a different machine. If you use the same ATM regularly, “be observant and try to notice whether or not there’s anything different about the ATM on that particular visit,” Tente said.
  • Cover your pin number when entering it. It may seem old fashioned, but criminals cannot access your bank account unless they have the pin and often still use cameras aimed at the keypad.

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