Even though consumers are more aware of ATM card skimmers, which record customers’ account data with the intention of using it to make fraudulent purchases and withdrawals, the money-and-President-defending folks at the Secret Service say the use of these illegal devices is actually on the rise.
“Technology is increasing, and it’s become somewhat easier to steal money electronically versus by a gun,” one Secret Service agent tells CBS NYC.
Earlier this summer, authorities busted a skimmer operation that stole $3 million from ATM users at a Capitol One bank in Manhattan.
“Everyone is at risk,” says the agent. “The loss could potentially be from hundreds of dollars up to hundreds of thousands of dollars,” and all your money can be gone within a few hours.
The basics for preventing card skimming:
1. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN. This should help prevent hidden cameras from recording your information.
2. Don’t be gentle with the card reader. When you insert your card, give it a shake. Or give a little nudge to the exterior of the card reader, especially if something looks out of place. Skimmers are often hastily put into place and not fully secured, so it could fall right off with just a little effort.