Debit Card Skimmer Found On Train Ticket Dispenser

Be careful, travelers, skimmers aren’t just for ATMs. Here’s one a Dutch guy found on a local train ticket machine. This is even a little bit more insidious than an ATM skimmer because busy passengers are even less likely to hide their PIN or notice a skimming device before rushing to their next train. The site is in Dutch but just scroll through the labeled pictures. With phrases like “betterijen uit mobiele telefoon” it’s pretty easy to figure out what he’s talking about.

Een Skimapparaat ontdekt en ontleed [inter.nl]

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  1. hypochondriac says:

    For me I always give a firm tug on any machine I insert the card into. Have yet to encounter a skimmer

  2. WorkingDad says:

    I don’t know Dutch either. But I think “12 dec 2008″ can be translated into meaning the article is nearly 2 years old.

    It might be better if The Consumerist changes “The Consumerist empowers consumers by informing and entertaining them about the top consumer issues of the day” to read “…of the decade”?

    • syzygy says:

      Yeah, don’t these guys realize that knowledge has an expiration date? I mean, I can’t detect and avoid skimmers with moldy, spoiled photos!

    • scoobydoo says:

      Yeah – stupid Consumerist. Now we are in 2010, we no longer use credit cards and skimmers are a thing of the past. Why waste our time posting these silly things!

      Seriously – just because something is two years old, does not mean everyone has seen it. In fact, since this was on a Dutch site, I’m betting most people had not seen it yet.

      • WorkingDad says:

        I don’t disagree, scooby.

        If you’re going to publish years old stuff on the web site, that’s fine.

        But if you say you’re going to publish current info and THEN publish old info, me-thinks it’s a bit disingenuous. That’s all I’m sayin’…

        • scoobydoo says:

          I fail to see the problem. The issue of skimmers is very much current, and nothing in the article (I do read Dutch) is outdated. It applies now just as much as it did back in 2008.

          • Pax says:

            Not to mention, I had no idea a “skimmer” was something that could be applied to the OUTSIDE of a machine. I thought you had to get INSIDE the case, to install something.

            Now I know, and will hopefully be more alert to signs of one.

            To me, that says “the Consumerist has done it’s job.”

  3. cosmic.charlie says:

    I hate how you have to use a debit card at those machines. Anyone know why they don’t allow you to use credit?

  4. SeattleSeven says:

    I’ve also taken to “tugging” at the card reader area prior to insertion. But in looking at the pictures, I don’t think I’d spot that one. It is very well done and the ticket machine design really facilitates the installation of that big piece of skimming gear.

    Side note: I’ve been pleased to see some of the bank and credit union ATMs in my area with large rounded translucent lighted card entry points. It seems they would make it extremely difficult to easily attach a skimmer to the front of the thing. …Unless you tear off the whole assembly and build your own… Hmm…

  5. grossmont says:
  6. wickedpixel says:
  7. malibumaniac says:

    Slightly OT, but what I dislike about the ticketing machines here in the Bay Area is that if you use a credit or debit card you’re not asked for your zip code or any identifying information, the charges just go through even when the card has been blocked by the issuer. A couple of weeks ago, I left my debit card in the ATM (I know, not my finest moment). Someone tried to withdraw $2000 from my account but thankfully BofA declined the transaction and put a hold on my account. The person then tried to make a couple of charges at retail stores around the area but was declined every single time. They tried one last time at the BART station where the $50 charge went through. I got the money back from the bank but it seems like a fairly primitive system if they can’t even detect blocked cards. Especially considering that BART (and ultimately taxpayers) will be responsible for the fraudulent charges.
    Bank of America, on the other hand, really impressed me with their fraud detection system. Less than 5 minutes after I left the card in there, I got the phone call about ‘unusual activity’ and they were extremely helpful and nice!

  8. valladolid says:

    I had my credit card skimmed at a train station in NJ, and while I was on the train the card was used at 5 different gas stations to buy $75.00 worth of gas each. Obviously, I notified the train station because I wasn’t sure how fast the card companies notify them of things like that, but I’m glad I was able to use credit instead of debit.

  9. NewsMuncher says:

    Perhaps what companies should do is upload an image of what the slot looks like at time of installation, so that the customer can see what it looks like when they touch the screen.
    “Does the card scanner look like this?” “Y/N”
    or “Report an issue with this ATM”
    might also be good options.