Kelly sent us these pics of a card skimmer he found yesterday on a Bank of America ATM in Atlanta. He writes, “I asked the police what to do; they said give it to the bank. I asked the bank what to do, they said give it to the police. I assume that no one has established standard procedures to handle this kind of thing yet.” Well if nothing else, send us a photo! Then we can publicize it for other readers, which is how Kelly found it in the first place: “I would have not even recognized it or known to look for it had I not read the article on your website a week earlier about what to look for.” Full size pics below.
Contrary to what some in the media were saying about our previous post, these are not the first instances of real world credit card skimmers—there have been stories about them and photos circulating online for a few years at least. However, it does seem like we’re getting a lot more tips about them lately. Whether that’s due to increased awareness on the part of consumers, or increased activity on the part of criminals, we don’t know. We suspect it’s both. But we figure the more of these examples we see, the easier it gets for all of us to spot them.
Same tips as always apply: try to use the same ATM for your transactions so you’ll be more likely to notice changes, and try to use bank ATMs which in theory should be less susceptible to tampering—although our recent tips have all focused on bank ATMs, so clearly they’re not immune.
Update: Kelly wrote back in with a response to some of the comments below:
The location was the corner of Ponce de Leon and Frederica in Atlanta. There are two ATMs at the location, one in the front and one in the back. The ATM that had the skimmer on it was the ATM in the back. When I discovered it, I was so surprised that I didn’t think to call the number on the ATM, I called the main customer support number instead (the call was around 5:12 pm saturday).
The put me on hold for a bit and when they came back on they asked me for the location and time of discovery, and they asked me to give the skimmer to the police.
When I flagged down a police officer, he gave me the distinct impression that I was to give it to the bank so that they could “conduct an internal investigation.”
I just thought it was funny that the bank didn’t seem to want the device, and neither did the cops. So here I am, left with an illegal card skimmer with a whole bunch of strangers’ card data on it. I just want to get rid of it!