We have a morbid fascination with ATM skimmers here at Consumerist, as anyone with a bank account probably should. The technology has made a lot of progress, from molded overlays for card slots and PIN pads to invisible Bluetooth devices that beam payment information to the bad guys until their batteries die. Now there’s a new type of skimmer spotted on real ATMs, but impossible for customers to detect: wiretaps. [More]
On the right of this photo is a 1-euro coin, which is more or less the size of a U.S. dollar coin. On the left is a super-thin skimmer recovered from the card-reader slot of an ATM in Europe. Powered by a watch battery, it was only found when the ATM displayed a “fatal error” message and a technician came by to figure out what was wrong. [More]
Skimmers are devices that very bad people attach to unattended credit card readers such as bank ATMs, public transit kiosks, post office kiosks, or gas pumps. They capture card numbers, and sometimes a hidden camera captures PINs, so scammers can clean out victim’s bank accounts. Of course, ATMs have their own security cameras, which catch images of the scammers at work. Like this footage from a recent skimmer installation at Navy Federal Credit Union branches in northern Virginia. [More]
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. [More]
While both MasterCard and Visa have zero-liability policies for fraudulent transactions made by swiping a card or using the card number online or over the phone, that same level of protection has not been afforded to all cardholders for bogus ATM withdrawals or PIN-based purchases. However, MasterCard announced today that it is extending the zero-liability policy in the U.S. to include these two types of transactions. [More]
It’s probably not a good idea to use your debit card at the gas pump. Not because we have anything against debit cards, but because we’ve learned of yet another group of criminals who planted invisible card skimmers in pay-at-the-pump machines at gas stations in the southern United States. [More]
In the above picture, on the left you see a brand-new credit/debit card for gas pumps. On the right is the same device with a card-skimming device placed in the conveniently empty slot. How can consumers avoid having their card information skimmed by crooks using similar devices? You probably won’t even know until the fraudulent purchases hit your account. [More]
John has read our previous posts on ATM skimmers tacked on machines by crooks, and knows what to watch out for. If you see card slots and other components that don’t quite seem to match the rest of the machine and seem tacked on, that’s a big warning sign. So when he saw this rather sketchy-looking addition to a machine, he thought it might be a skimming device. When he called up the bank, he learned that it wasn’t: apparently, they just did kind of a crappy repair job. [More]
Reader Andrew noticed this picture of an an incredibly high-end professional ATM skimmer that is virtually undetectable. [More]
In a twist to the usual ATM skimmer scam, there’s a new report from Krebs on Security about crooks who put the skimmer inside the bank door-lock. When you swipe your card to get inside, they grab your digits. A camera hidden behind a mirror above the ATM and pointed down at the keypad records your PIN code when you punch it in. [More]
Police have made arrests connected to a gas station credit card skimming ring that was bilking Northern California drivers for $20,000 a day, reports the Sacramento Bee. 11 credit card skimmers, loaded up with hundreds of credit card numbers from unwary consumers, were found in a car driven by the two men arrested in connected with the scheme, says the Martinez, California Police Department. [More]
The Secret Service has apprehended an alleged ring of ATM skimmer crooks in eastern Massachusetts. The group set up skimmers with pinhole cameras on Bank of America and Citizens Bank ATMs in the greater Boston area. According to authorities, when one of the suspects was caught, he had almost $100,000 in twenties in his possession. [More]
Would you have noticed this ATM skimmer, spotted on a Citibank ATM in California? The actual card slot is on the left. The skimmer is on the right. The contraption is seemingly custom-designed for this model ATM, and includes a pinhole camera for capturing victims’ PINs. Fancy. [More]
Is this boa constrictor discovered on top of an ATM in Serbia part of an attempt to control the scourge of mice nesting in ATMs, or just the latest international crime syndicate to take up ATM skimming?
Reader Kellie reports being the victim of an ATM skimming scam in the Chicago area. Mostly, she was amazed that the thefts weren’t reported in the local media, and she asked bank employees why. Here’s what they told her.
Just when you thought that you and your ATM card data were safe from criminal eyes, Scientific American brings a different sort of threat. This time, the skimmers are inside the machine. Malware within the ATM itself harvests enough data to do some very bad things.
Four Romanian nationals in Florida have been charged in a series of ATM skimmer frauds that targeted banks in New York City, Cicero (near Syracuse), NY, and Rochester, NY. They are charged with, among other things, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud. According to the Syracuse office of the Secret Service, they stole $1.8 million overall.