ATM Security

Recently, there has been an increase of ATM skimming attacks across the nation. Criminals have used a variety of methods to obtain both mag-stripe data and PIN information on unsuspecting victims. ATM skimming continues to be a growing trend that some experts believe cost U.S. financial institutions hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

In addition to skimming there have been a few other ATM fraud trends that have recently surfaced as well.

Ghost ATMS - This is where the card reader is blocked off and the card member can’t perform the transaction. The card member swipes their card and then enters their PIN number only to receive an error message that transaction cannot be completed.

Ram Raids – This scheme occurs when the criminals actually remove the entire ATM machine. Often times you’ll see this occur at convenience stores during a smash and grab.

Malware – This has been reported on at least 20 ATMs overseas and is expected to make its way here to the states. The malware found seems to be a Trojan based program designed to capture mag-stripe and PIN information.

Below are some preventive measures and recommendations when dealing with ATM fraud.

  • Protect your PIN number! The PIN number should never be given out under any circumstances.

  • Avoid using a PIN number that is easily guessed such as an anniversary date, birth date, or any portion of a social security number.

  • When using your card at the ATM, it’s recommended to shield the pin pad when entering your PIN number. Also, be wary of your surroundings as well as anything out of the ordinary such as odd-looking equipment or wires attached to the device.

  • And last but not least, carefully review your statements or online banking activity for any unusual withdrawals.


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