Impacts Continue From The Heartland Data Breach
Police Find Skimming Devices Inside Pumps at 180 Gas Stations in Utah

Would You Recognize a Skimming Device on A Bank ATM Machine?

At his Krebs On Security blog, Brian Kebs has a good blog post about how to recognize a skimming device attached to the card slot of an ATM machine. Identity criminals will try to place these devices on ATM machines (and gas station pumps) to steal your debit card sign-in credentials so they can drain your bank account.

Brian's blog post includes photos, which clearly indicate how thieves can attach a skimming device to the ATM card slot.

Now don't panic and think that every ATM machine has been tampered with. The thieves target ATM machines that are not in well-lit and public places.

My advice:

  • Use ATM machines from your bank. You know what they look like and familiarity makes it easy to spot tampered machines
  • Use ATM machines that are in well-lighted and in public places
  • If the ATM machine looks like it has been tampered with, use another machine
  • I avoid unfamiliar-looking ATM machines, that are often in convenience stores

Related article: Anybody Can Buy And Operate an ATM Machine.


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I guess I should keep my eyes open whenever I visit ATM machines. I never knew identity theft was so common.

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