In October 2011, an ATM ‘skimmer’ was discovered at a drive through of the Regions bank at Walnut Avenue and Tibbs Road according to Dalton, Georgia police spokesmen Bruce Frazier. Thousands of people have lost money to hackers in the United States and worldwide. While this is a painful experience to those who have been victims, it can be avoided with due diligence.
How does one know when to or not to use the ATM? It is critical to first understand how these crooks operate. They place an illegal card reading device over an ATM’s card entry slot and capture the user’s account information off the magnetic strip at the back of the card. They can also capture your card or use the information from the magnetic strip to produce a counterfeit card. They also use a camera to record your pin.
So what are the signs that an ATM has been tempered with?
1) ATM is looking strange
When you visit the ATM and you can see that it’s looking unusual or they are unusual mountings there, it may have been tempered with. At times, these people don’t even hide their card reading devices and cameras. They put them right there in front of you but you don’t notice it. At times you see it, but it only rings a bell when your money is gone.
2) A little hole or strip of light
This may be a concealed camera at the ATM.
3) Keypad panel is loose
If the card reader or keypad panel is loose, or it looks like it has been opened, don’t use it. There may be a device to make sure that once your card goes in, it can’t come out. It may be a keypad overlay that captures your pin. Find another ATM even if its far, it’s worth the sacrifice.
4) ATM has got exposed wires, cuts, cracks, glue and tape residue.
If there ATM has got any of these things, don’t use it.
5) Card entry slot is looking unusual.
If the card slot is looking different, it may be a fake overlay placed over it.
It pays to be a little more observant and vigilant before you withdraw money. It may save you thousands of dollars. If you have noticed something after you have already done your transaction call the police and don’t leave the ATM until they arrive. They can retrieve your details before they get into the hands of these thieves.