How to Protect Yourself from ATM Skimming
December 20, 2016

How to Protect Yourself from ATM Skimming

HomeTown Bank Blog

Everyone knows to be cautious about going through your ATM transaction when there are bystanders around and how the new EMV chips are preventing your information from being stolen. However, not everyone realizes that there could be another threat at your ATM that often goes unnoticed. HomeTown Bank wants to keep your accounts secure at our ATMs and anywhere else you may withdraw.

This fraudulent practice is called “ATM skimming”. Skimming devices are designed to overlay directly onto an existing ATM machine to record bank account information when the card is swiped and the account is accessed. Though these devices are discreet, if you pay attention, they are not undetectable.

cosnumer1The main parts of the ATM you should inspect before your transaction are as follows:

1. The Card Reader

This is where the actual skimming device is placed. It can scan your information from your card just like any other ATM or credit card machine. This will capture your banking data for the criminals to use later. They’re typically identical to the original card reader but can sometimes be detected by tugging on the plastic pieces. See the photo with this post.

2. The Keypad

A keypad overlay is often placed directly onto the ATM keypad to record the PIN when entered for a transaction. Because it is placed on the keypad, you can go about your transaction with the ATM without realizing something else is recording your information. You should try to detect any extra edges around the keypad that may indicate an overlay is present.

3. Hidden Camera

Before the keypad overlays became an option, criminals often posted hidden cameras, specifically placed to capture a video of a person entering their PIN to access their account. Most ATMs already have cameras installed for protection, so most customers don’t think anything of it. Regardless, you should always be sure to cover up your hand or the keypad when entering your PIN to protect yourself from both bystanders and hidden cameras.

Even when you are using your usual ATM, we encourage you to always be aware of your surroundings and inspect the machine you’re entrusting with your credit card information.