Would you notice a tiny ATM skimmer that hides just inside the card slot and slurps up your personal data? The European ATM Security Team, a not-for-profit organization that tracks ATM-related crime in different parts of the European Union, recently showed off some new and nearly invisible skimmers that they harvested in an unnamed country. It’s like a horror movie for your bank account.
Skimmer crime is a problem here in the United States, of course, but Krebs on Security reports that scamsters often take data captured from ATM cards with magnetic strips in Europe and ship the data to accomplices abroad. Specifically, the United States and Latin America. The accomplices create cards that will work over here in the Americas, where EMV (“chip-and-PIN”) still aren’t in use, and won’t be until 2015.
These thin skimmers work a few different ways, but you do have one weapon to protect yourself. Guard your PIN. Don’t just guard it from people standing around and behind you at the cash machine or in stores, but shield your hand while entering the number, pretending that there’s an imaginary spy camera above the keypad. Do this because there just might be a camera waiting to capture what you write.
The Rise of Thin, Mini and Insert Skimmers [Krebs on Security]