Five Tips for Avoiding ATM Skimming
- Pull on the card reader first to see if it is loose.
- The card reader should not look like it has had any “repairs”.
- Look for new scratches, glue marks, flashing lights, or visible wires.
- Check the keypad for loose, discolored, or spongy keys.
- Look for signs of an out of place box that could be a small wireless camera.
- Possibly above or to the side of the screen or touchpad.
- It could be metal, plastic, or even look like it is holding brochures.
- Using the same ATMs on a regular basis will make it easier to notice changes.
- If the ATM looks suspicious, notify staff immediately.
- If there is more than one ATM, compare them with each other to look for differences.
- The same idea applies to gas pumps – compare them with each other.
Use ATMs in high traffic areas
- In a credit union or bank lobby located near the teller line.
- At a gas station near the cashier.
- An ATM visible from the drive-up at a financial institution.
- The same idea applies to gas pumps – use those in a high traffic, monitored area.
Protect your PIN number
- Shield the pin pad as you enter your PIN number.
- From hidden cameras or nearby onlookers.
- Change your PIN on a regular basis especially after traveling to foreign countries.
- Avoid using numbers like your birthday, anniversary, spouse or child’s birthday, etc.
Be Cautious of Strangers
- A possible innocent bystander waiting in line just as you finish your transaction.
- Someone willing to help when your card just happens to get jammed.
Unusual Account Activity
- Monitor your account on a frequent basis.
- Contact your financial institution immediately if your account has suspicious activity.
- Set up text alerts with your financial to monitor your account.
- Remember that regulations favor the card holder and if the fraud is reported in 60 days it will be covered by your financial institution.