Skimmers target ATMs to steal money. What is this practice?

Not just online, but also offline, fraudulent actions are on the rise. Offline fraud does not always require the offender to point a pistol at the victim and demand money. Rather than that, it is accomplished via our daily usage of ATMs. This is referred to as ATM skimming or credit card skimming.

What is the term “ATM Skimming”?

Skimming an ATM or credit card is a technique in which thieves utilize a special gadget (“skimmer”) to acquire a user’s credit card information. The criminal collects this information and utilizes it for fraudulent acts such as making counterfeit cards, directly stealing from banks, and cloning credit cards.

What is the mechanism of action for this skimmer?

This little gadget (a “skimmer”) is positioned on the front of the ATM near the slot where the card will be inserted. The majority of ATM customers may be unaware of this since the device is often tiny and undetectable. Only those who are acquainted with it or have a heightened sense of security are likely to notice. Or if the skimmer is a low-quality brand.

Additionally, credit card skimming requires two items: your credit card pin and the data stored on your card’s magnetic strip. While inserting your card into the ATM, a covert camera is located in the brochure holder close to the ATM. Additionally, this camera aids in the theft of the card user’s pin. Therefore, be cautious while using your card at petrol stations, convenience shop ATMs, and even commercial bank ATMs; they may be dangerous.

ATM skimming warning signs

As already indicated It may be difficult for you to identify a skimming ATM if you are unfamiliar with it, particularly if you are not an expert. However, there are a few minor details to keep in mind.

  • In-store or gas station: Skimming in-store or at a gas station is often different from skimming at ATMs. When a component of an in-store device or a double-structured device is broken, do not use it and notify the local authorities or card provider.
  • Standard ATM: A tapped ATM might be difficult to recognize, particularly when the skimming device is placed by an accomplished thief. You must keep an eye out for scratches or other abnormalities in the ATM card slot.

How can you defend yourself against ATM skimming?

  1. Exercise caution while using ATMs

Certain ATMs located in pubs, restaurants, petrol stations, and shopping malls get less attention. As a result, thieves soon temper them. You may want to rethink their use.

  1. Inspect the ATM

We have addressed this before and will do it again since it is critical. Don’t just insert your card into every ATM you come across. You must scrutinize it to find any anomalies. Keep an eye out for indicators that the card slot has been tampered with. Is it adhered to? Or is it encased in tape?

  1. Keep an eye out for a concealed camera

Keep an eye out for concealed cameras disguised as small holes near the slot where you enter your card pin while using an ATM. Additionally, it may be jammed into the machine’s top or side, or even into the light gears above it. Stealing ATM pins is another common form of skimming. When they take the pin, it will be combined with the other information gathered. Alternatively, they take the card from the owner at gunpoint and subsequently withdraw cash.

Contrary to popular belief, do not confuse the bank’s ATM cameras with a skimming camera. Unlike the skimming camera, the bank’s cameras are visible.

  1. Take care with your pin

If you’re unclear if a concealed camera is there when you place your pin, direct it. While entering your PIN, protect the keyboard with your free hand. Thus, even if a covert camera is accessible, the pin remains unnoticed.

  1. Examine the keypad

Attempting to defend yourself with your hand will be ineffective if the keyboard is cushioned. Occasionally, crooks will not utilize cameras but instead install an overlay on the keypad that repeats the user’s pin. When the user leaves, the criminal, who is often nearby, removes the pins for their nefarious actions.

  1. Conduct periodic checks on your bank statement

If you fall victim to this scam, you will be identified on time if you regularly check your bank statement. You are required to notify your credit card provider of any fraudulent activity on your card within 60 days, depending on your card issuer. However, with debit cards, you have up to two days to report suspicious activity.

  1. Be selective in your card selection

It is preferable if you use a credit card connected to a bank account with withdrawal restrictions or with less money in it. This prevents the burglar from taking all of your cash since there is none available. Additionally, insist on a credit card equipped with chip technology. The chip makes it more difficult for criminals to quickly take personal information.

Additional information regarding credit card security

The methods outlined above are offline methods of protecting oneself against ATM skimming. How about using and safeguarding your credit card information online? There are several techniques to safeguard your credit card while shopping online.

These include the essentials of being suspicious of the website from which you are buying or making a payment and using a VPN while shopping online. By using a VPN, you may conceal your IP address, preventing a hacker or online fraudster from collecting your personal information. We do not advocate using just any VPN, but rather a reputable one such as NordVPN.

It’s quick, offers a large selection of servers, and is accessible on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. Most importantly, the payment options are quite inexpensive.

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