4 tips on how to protect yourself from ATM skimming

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It so happens that a vacation taken by a cyber security expert turns out to be yet another eye-opener for many.

While holidaying in

Before we continue, let us tell you a little about what is ATM skimming?
For those who aren’t aware, ATM skimming is an illegitimate practice of stealing data from the magnetic strip (the black strip) on the back side of an ATM card.

You will notice in the video that the fake card reader was glued to the actual reader and the glue lining was visible.

#1. The first tip, as Tedesco puts it, always check for ATM skimmers (fake parts) before putting in your debit/credit card. While a visual inspection may not be helpful, you can always do a physical inspection by trying to tug, push or pull parts like the card reader, keypad, the cash dispenser, the lining of the screen, etc. ATMs generally don’t have parts that are badly constructed, are loose and oddly fashioned.

#2. Compare the ATM you are using with the one next to it. If you see any obvious difference, then don’t use it. Report this to the bank.

#3. Prefer using ATMs located in busy places. Avoid using those that are in remote or hidden locations such as those behind buildings, parking lots, and spots that are away from public view. For obvious reasons, such ATMs are usually targetted by criminals.

#4. While entering your card’s PIN, cover the keypad with one hand and type with the other. Scammers are getting craftier with their jobs. They install hidden cameras in multiple places to capture the PIN that is being entered by the user. The camera could be installed just below the ATM screen, somewhere near the keypad or even in a flower vase kept at a position adjacent to the ATM or opposite to it; in short, the camera could be anywhere that can help the crook steal your information.

Share this story with your friends, family and acquaintances so that they too can take the right secure measures to stay away from ATM skimming.


Rajiv Singha

Rajiv Singha

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  1. Hi:
    My account at JPMorgan Chase was recently Hack, 12,000.00 were taking out from my checking account via wire transfer. I have done my due diligent by closing the account getting a new account, new ATM card, reporting to the back security fraud department, sending an affidavit confirming that I did not initiated the transfer and do not know the person to whom the transfer was made. The bank response was that they are investigating and that it can take up to 30 days.
    Is that the normal process? Is the bank responsible and must return my money? should I get an attorney involve?
    Please advise