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ATM Skimming Devices
A number of different type of spy devices are being used to gain your credit card information at ATM machines.   Thieves attach devices to the front of the ATM machine that reads your debit card and copies the information.  This device will be placed in front of the normal card insertion so you slide your card into this skimmer device as part of the transaction.  Criminals might also attach small video cameras that view your key strokes on the number pad.  This pin hole camera might be inside an item attached to the front of the ATM like a brochure holder.

How to spot skimming devices.

  1. Try to pay attention to the ATM machines that you normally use and take note of how it looks so that if anything is added to the ATM machine in the future you will be more likely to notice the difference.
  2. When you walk up to an ATM machine and something looks out of the ordinary, walk away.  If the ATM machine looks dirty or in disrepair walk away.  Of particular note are any devices that look like they could be attached to the normal front of the ATM machine.  
  3. If an ATM machine looks like it has altered, cracked, loose or damaged, walk away
  4. When you key in your PIN number on the key pad, block the view of the key strokes with your other hand.  Do not use the ATM machine if suspicious individuals are standing close and can view your PIN code entry.
  5. Do not use ATM machines that have unusual signage.  No ATM should require that you enter your PIN number twice to complete the transaction.
  6. If your card gets stuck in the ATM machine, call the debit card institution immediately to report this.

Note: If you discover that you might have use a compromised ATM machine, promptly within 2 days, check your balance.  Debit cards are protected for loss of $50, if discovered and reported to your bank within 2 days.  After 2 days the amount jumps up to $500.
Information for this article:
Wall Street Journal article:

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