No, This Shady-Looking ATM Repair Is Totally Not A Card Skimmer

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.


Found this today on a TD Bank ATM in Massachusetts. Everything about it screams blatant skimmer, loosely attached with hand written placards, so I called the local branch and they assured me that it is not a skimmer.

If this is how they repair their ATM’s how is anyone ever supposed to use a TD bank ATM with confidence?

There’s another possibility here, which is even more discouraging: that this could be a skimmer, and the branch staff have no idea what’s going on with it.

Reader Finds Card Skimmer On Bank ATM
Here’s What A Card Skimmer Looks Like On An ATM
Rogue’s Gallery Of ATM Skimmers
ID An ATM Skimmer


Edit Your Comment

  1. UniversalRemonster! says:

    Clearly not a skimmer, the criminals tend to do a better job of installation.

  2. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    The ATM in my local TD Bank branch is just as crappy. A few days ago I inserted my debit card, logged in, and when I tried to punch in the amount I wanted ($120) I got as far as the numbers 1,2 and then it flashed, spit out a folded $20 bill and no receipt. I went inside to tell the branch manager and all she said was, “I know – we plan to get that repaired.” Argggggh! For the next few days I checked my balance online to make sure that I was debited properly. NO confidence in TD ATMs!

    • soj4life says:

      Wait, the bill was folded? That is odd because the bills are from packs of 20’s that either the tellers “sold” to the vault or they got with their shipment. Those should be run through a moneycounter and it spits or folded money. As for the receipt printer being down, that is something that should be fixed within24 hours. Someone is not doing their job.

  3. wren337 says:

    after you attach your skimmer, walk into the branch and let them know about the temporary repair you had to do so they can reassure the customers.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    So when banks create more and more fees out of the ether, where is it all going?

    • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

      What do you want? Them to charge a monthly $5 ‘We checked for skimmers on ATMS*’ fee?

      *Checked = A manager told a teller to go look at the ATM and make sure it looked OK. Physical contact with the machine not required.

  5. Razor512 says:

    Near me, there is a local chase bank with 4 ATM’s on the outside right by the entrance, with 2 security cameras pointed at the ATM’s. A while back, I noticed a card skimmer on the ATM. about 8 hours later that day, I went back to deposite a financial aid check for college, and the skimmer was still there.

    This is pretty common in queens NY, but the worst case, is the banks that require you to basically use your debit card at the door to get in, the citi bank nearby that does that will often get a card skimmer stuck to the door card reader.

    Oddly enough, I have not seen any at the gas stations in the area (the gas station workers keep a close eye on the machines to make sure people are not trying to modify them for cheaper gas)

    Banks need to learn that a security camera is useless of no one is actually watching them

    • vastrightwing says:

      A card skimmer on the front door isn’t going to do the job for the criminal. They also need your PIN.

      • ahecht says:

        Not if they plan on using your ATM card as a VISA/Mastercard debit card.

      • The Cupcake Nazi says:

        It would work just fine if you then put the camera or recording keypad on the ATM and cross-referenced the timing info. And would probably be less likely to be notced by most people, too.

    • Rocket says:

      You don’t need to scan your ATM card at the door. Any magnetic strip will trigger the door and open it.

    • GrayMatter says:

      Most door openers will work on anything with a magnetic strip. I have used an old hotel card, a library card, and a supermarket rewards card.

    • hymie! says:

      Banks need to learn that a security camera is useless of no one is actually watching them

      The purpose of a security camera is not to be watched 24 hours a day. It’s to have a video record that can be reviewed when the need arises.

    • limbodog says:

      In my experience, any card with a magnetic strip will open the door. Even a cvs card or my library card.

    • Jawaka says:

      How does one apply for the job of sitting and watching the ATM all day?

  6. 2 Replies says:

    Pull it off anyways.
    No bank should be repairing their atms to the quality of a crappy skimmer.
    No bank should be using hardware that could have customers thinking crappy skimmers could be legit.

    • Craige says:

      Except then you’re on the hook (and on camera to boot) for vandalism. I’d rather just report it to the police as a card skimmer on a regular basis until the bank gets fed up and fixes the machine properly.

  7. AtlantaCPA says:

    I love that the repair dude misspelled “Stripe” – at least s/he caught his/her error. That absolutely screams Skimmer!

  8. Bob Lu says:

    Welcome to the year 2012, when real stuff looks like fake :)

  9. Difdi says:

    Or it could be a skimmer and the branch staff is in on it. You never know.