THE conditions that put you most at risk of ATM fraud and theft have been revealed.
ATM users should be on the lookout for these sly ATM scams that can be difficult to detect and make it easy for thieves to steal all the information they need to loot your funds.
According to KrebsOnSecurity, scammers use ATMs to steal card information from innocent bank customers.
It can happen to anyone at any time, but the safety agency said New York City is a particularly vulnerable place for so-called deep-insert skimmers.
Deep insert skimmers are devices that thieves insert into ATMs and are used in conjunction with tiny cameras to steal a bank customer’s personal identification number (PIN).
It is not transactions or chip card data that the skimming thieves are targeting, but rather the cardholder data from the magnetic strip on the back of American debit cards in addition to the PIN.
Some of the stealthiest skimming devices are “half the price of a US dime,” according to KrebsOnSecurity.
They fit easily into ATMs and are often overlooked by most people as they don’t interfere with the insertion and return of debit cards.
NCR, an ATM manufacturer, pulled several skimmers from its NCR SelfServ 84 Walk-Up.
The company released a report of its findings on skimmers in January.
As part of their report, they discovered that entire fake ATM siding, complete with nefarious cameras and information-stealing devices, had been successfully slipped over real siding by the thieves.
The placement of the tiny cameras over the PIN pad ensures scammers can intercept the PIN and steal funds.
NCR, other manufacturers and financial institutions use what are known as insert kits to prevent this increasingly common type of fraud.
Insert kits physically prevent insertion of an insert skimmer.
Smart detection kits are also being tested and insert a camera inside the card reader to monitor erratic behavior.
The Smart Detect Kit has also been equipped with image recognition software to track unauthorized changes inside the card reader.
As a result of the increase in fraud, more tap technology is being built into ATMs.
While KrebsOnSecurity claims that “you probably stand a better chance of being physically mugged after withdrawing cash than if you encounter a skimmer in real life,” they still offered some pointers to prevent the all-too-simple scam.
1. Avoid standalone machines
KrebsOnSecurity recommends bank customers to avoid poorly lit outward-facing ATMs. Machines that stand alone are far more likely to have been tampered with.
2. ATMs are best
“If possible, stick to ATMs that are physically installed at a bank,” KrebsOnSecurity says on its website.
3. Avoid cashing out on weekends
Many thieves install skimming devices on weekends when banks are closed or have limited hours.
Since most banks don’t allow access on Sundays, criminals have more time to plan fraudulent activities.
4. Use your hands
While it may seem like a pointless, paranoid gesture, simply covering the PIN pad with your hand while entering those four valuable digits could save a customer from major financial damage.
KrebsOnSecurity found that in footage from 2012, customers spent hours rushing straight to the ATM and entering their details on video without their knowledge, and no one bothered to simply cover up the crucial information with their hand.
“Frighteningly, few people bother to take this simple, effective step,” they said.
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