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Financial Security

ATM Card Skimming and Protecting Your Information

ATM card skimming and protecting your information

It seems like we hear stories of ATM card skimming more and more every day. Skimming of debit and credit cards is increasingly on the rise in the past couple of years. With that in mind, we have put together some helpful information to prevent and protect your information.
What is ATM skimming? Skimming happens when there is a false device installed illegally onto an ATM to steal card data by the users of the ATM machine. The PIN number for the card can also be stolen with the use of a key-logging device placed over the key pad or installing an unauthorized camera to spy on the PIN being typed in.How can I tell if a skimming device has been installed on an ATM? Most of the time, these skimming devices are typically undetectable by users of the ATM, but you should always be aware of the card reader and key pad. When you look at the ATM and see anything that isn’t normal or out of place, alert the financial institution or owner of the machines and also the authorities as soon as possible.When you are at an ATM, wiggle everything. If something is a skimmer, they will be not as secure to the machine. If something moves at all, don’t use it.What information is stolen when my card is skimmed? Member name, full card number and expiration date. The PIN number can also be stolen if there is an unauthorized video camera installed or key-logging device placed over the original key pad. How do I avoid ATM skimming?
  1. Always be aware of your surroundings when you are using the machine. Stop and consider the safety of the ATM before you use it.
  2. Look at the device before use. That would include all places that you put in your information; card reader, key pad, etc. If something doesn’t look right, don’t use the machine.
  3. If you see something suspicious, report it immediately to the financial institution, owner of the machine, and the authorities.
  4. When you enter your PIN number, make sure the key pad is secure and there isn’t something covering the original key pad.
  5. Avoid using an ATM in poorly lit areas or ATMs that aren’t monitored by a surveillance camera.
Overall, walk up to every ATM suspiciously.  It may look normal, but if you wiggle places on the machine, you will find that the machine isn’t safe. By being aware that this may be a possibility, you are already ahead of the people trying to steal your information. If you have found a machine that has a skimmer, please call 911 immediately. Also, make sure to check your account regularly. By doing this, you are preventing the fraud transactions from continuing.