Advertisement

Police reveal how to spot skimming devices on ATMs

Police have revealed the technology skimmers use to steal bank card details and PINs from ATMs, warning customers how to avoid falling victim to fraud.

Card skimmers were recently found at multiple cash machines locations in the town of Freeport, Texas, in the US, prompting the local police to share a video demonstrating what to look for.

In tampered ATMS, the officers demonstrated a false cover is usually placed over the card reader to scan customers’ bank card details.

<span>Fraudsters place a false cover over the card reader to scan customers’ bank card details</span>. Source: Freeport Police Department
Fraudsters place a false cover over the card reader to scan customers’ bank card details. Source: Freeport Police Department

The device enables thieves to access the information when customers insert their card.

An authentic card reader should be firm and stay intact on the machine, police said.

Officers also showed how a hidden camera is inserted inside a small cover that fits over the slot where cash is dispensed, which allows thieves use to record PIN numbers through a small hole.

<span>A camera is hidden inside a small cover that fits over the slot where cash is dispensed</span>. Source: Freeport Police Department
A camera is hidden inside a small cover that fits over the slot where cash is dispensed. Source: Freeport Police Department

Once captured, thieves put the electronic data onto a fraudulent card and the captured PIN is used to withdraw money from accounts.

Officers advised ATM users to give both those parts a small tug. Machines are designed for parts to remain secure, so if they come lose it’s a sign the ATM has been tampered with.

The Commonwealth Bank said PIN capturing was a world-wide problem, and advised ATM customers to always cover their hand when entering their PIN, as a precautionary measure.

“If you believe an ATM looks suspicious or has been tampered with, do not use it and advise the nearest Commonwealth Bank branch (if the ATM is located at a branch) or call the police if it is a non-branch ATM,” the bank said in a statement.