Secret Service Says ATM Card Skimmers Are More Popular Than Ever

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.


Edit Your Comment

  1. wgombocz says:

    This sort of crime is hard to protect yourself against if you walk around unassuming. We all need to be much more careful considering the technology surrounding are everyday life in today’s world. Because of the business I’m in I look for stories like this one concerning the use of hidden cameras and security devices and enjoy finding them. I cannot believe that 3 million was taken from Capital one before anyone knew what was happening. Can you say “Better security needed”?

  2. scoosdad says:

    None of this would be a problem if the banks would put a good quality image of what their card readers on that ATM is supposed to look like on the very first screen before you get to swipe your card.

    Not saying it would prevent some people who aren’t paying attention from falling for a fake reader, but it may eventually dry up the reason for them being there in the first place.