Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fake ATM Readers Steal Your Bank Card and PIN

In the category of "what will they think of next" - a new scam to steal your bank card and PIN number is hitting a lot of people.

Teams of organized criminals are installing equipment on legitimate bank ATMs to steal both the ATM card number and the PIN. The team sits nearby in a car receiving the information transmitted wirelessly over weekends and evenings from equipment they install on the front of the ATM. The University of Texas Police has an excellent set of pictures to help to recognize these convertee ATMs. Reports are that these false fronts are also being used at gas stations and other outlets. So what can you do to help spot these fake ATM machines?

ATM Security Tips: First, be extra careful using ATM machines that are in poorly secured areas, such as gas stations or grocery stores. Thieves are likely to target these locations because there is much less change of being detected.

Second, examine the ATM machine a look for any suspicious-looking attachments, including the location of mini-cameras on nearby walls or envelope holders (see the pictures).

Finally, always be aware of suspicious-looking vehicles parked nearby, probably in dark or poorly lit areas. In this scam, the perps need to be nearby to receive the data via a wireless link.

According to police, if you see an attachment like this, do not use the ATM and report it immediately to the bank using the 800 number or phone on the front of the ATM.

Related Tips: Watch out for ATM Onlookers

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