How to Tell if An ATM Machine Has Been Tampered With By a Crook Looking For Access To Your Account

How to Tell if An ATM Machine Has Been Tampered With By a Crook Looking For Access To Your Account

Crooks have no qualms about how they get their money. Now, there is a new trick that thieves are using to access ATM’s, and boy, is it scary.

ATM article

From the Daily Mail:

The number of thefts at cash machines is on the rise as fraudsters look to steal cash under your nose, experts are warning.

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Up to 2,500 Britons fall victim to card fraud at ATMs every week, according to Financial Fraud Action UK – and those going to the US on business or holiday have been told to take extra care.

It comes after the number of machines hacked by criminals in America last year rose 546 per cent in 12 months to its highest ever level, according to New York Stock Exchange-listed software firm Fico.

When using a cash machine, it is important to be alert for signs of criminal activity. Here are some telling signs that an ATM has been tampered with, from Fico’s fraud specialist Brian Kinch:

1. Criminals are adept at placing card or cash capture devices and PIN compromise devices in or around ATMs to get quick access to consumer funds. Some even install entire false fronts to ATMs to capture people’s PINs and money.
These are often so well disguised that they can be extremely difficult to detect, so properly look at the ATM you are using to try and check it is legitimate.

2. An unusually bulky card insert slot might suggest a ‘skimmer’. A skimmer is a tool that is attached to the card slot on an ATM and secretly swipes your card details while you’re making a withdrawal – it’s almost indistinguishable from the real card reader.
Look out for misaligned or even misprinted stickers, as this is often an attempt to cover up where a compromise device has been installed.

3. A loose or blocked card slot may suggest the presence of a ‘Lebanese Loop’. Thieves can place a tiny plastic device or sleeve with a barb into the card reader so that, when you try to withdraw money, your card is caught in the machine.
The ATM will continue to ask for a PIN as it can’t read the card so, if you are led to believe your card has been swallowed, you may walk away and leave your card to be taken by the fraudsters.

4. If the PIN pad feels loose, thick, or sponge-like, then it may be a fake. This long-standing way of capturing people’s PINs is known as a ‘pin-pad overlay’ – the true PIN pad is covered by a counterfeit keypad such that, although pressing the buttons correctly causes the ATM to register your PIN, it is simultaneously being captured by the criminal.
Sometimes these digits are even instantly being transferred by WiFi to a waiting accomplice to record and use later.

5. Be aware of your surrounding environment, not just the appearance of the machine. Do not accept help from seemingly well-meaning strangers and don’t allow yourself to be distracted while at an ATM.
Typically fraudsters work best in teams, and distraction is a good way of scamming innocent victims to obtain a card or PIN. If an ATM is surrounded by individuals inexplicably loitering, ideally try to use a different machine.
Sometimes these will be confidence tricksters who, for example, have deployed a cash or card trap and will become overly helpful when you run into trouble. Whilst you are distracted, an accomplice can quickly check your PIN or remove and conceal your card or cash.

Be safe out there, folks! The first step in preventing yourself from being a victim is awareness. Don’t be fooled by these tricksters by just a few extra moments of caution.

Written by Katie McGuire. Send your hate mail to the author at [email protected], or feel free to mean tweet me at @GOPKatie, where I will be sure to do very little about it.


Writer, Blogger. Political aficionado. Addicted to all levels of government campaigns.

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