Learn About ATM Skimming and How to Protect Yourself

Learn About ATM Skimming and How to Protect Yourself

ATM Skimming

Fraudsters keep coming up with new ways to access information and funds. It is important you remain aware of schemes in order to protect yourself. At CCCU, we take our members’ banking security very seriously. We’ve outlined one of the latest scams so you can know what to watch for.

ATM skimming

ATM skimming is a world-wide problem in which criminals place a device in the card acceptance slot of an ATM. This device is small, so it’s difficult to detect. It reads the data from the magnetic strip on the back your card, thus compromising your secure information. This skimming device is usually accompanied with a camera that is set up to capture the PIN number as you key it in.

How they do it

Once card data is skimmed, it makes it possible for counterfeits of the card to be made and used to withdraw money. They only need to key in the PIN and remove cash before the owner of the card discovers their card or account has been compromised.

On the rise

2015 saw an increase in ATM skimming incidents that targeted American and European banks. The trend remains strong in 2016. On April 8, 2016, FICO Card Alert Service sounded an alarm on significant spikes in ATM skimming incidents. The report indicated a 546% rise in these attacks between 2014 and 2015.

The report also indicated that 2015 recorded the highest-ever number of ATM compromises. Incidents were highest at ATMs not located at banks, such as those at convenience stores. ATMs at non-bank locations had 10 times as many incidents as in 2014.

Protecting yourself

There are precautions you can take to thwart the efforts of ATM skimmers. One is to be vigilant when withdrawing cash over the weekends. Skimmers strike at this time because they know the banks will be closed for another 24 hours.

It's also important to protect your PIN by covering the keypad with your hands. This blocks the view of the hidden cameras ATM skimmers install.

Another important precaution is to keep checking your account. ATM skimmers strike immediately so they can withdraw funds before the victim finds out their account or card has been compromised. Check your statement online a few hours after using your card and the next day as well. It’s not always easy catching a skimmer but using these precautions you can help protect yourself. Contact CCCU at 702-228-2228 to learn more about their services and protection.

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