Legitimate businesses create video ads to promote their products, so why shouldn’t companies that can provide you with the supplies to commit crimes? Here are some videos where sellers of the tools of the ATM skimmer trade show off how their products work, in case you’ve always wondered how to insert and remove a super-thin ATM skimmer. [More]
Modern ATMs are just computers attached to machines stuffed with cash, and that means that ATMs can also be infected with malware and viruses. Back in 2009, a piece of malware that could make an ATM spit out cash or give out the card numbers of people who had recently used the machine was found in the wild, the not-very-creatively-named Skimer. Now the security company Kapersky Labs has discovered a new and better (if you’re not a bank or a consumer) version of Skimer out in the wild. [More]
What would you do if you were on vacation abroad, and you found a skimmer attached to an ATM? Security consultant Matt South discovered a camera attachment on an ATM in Bali, Indonesia, and decided to bring it back to his hotel to take it apart. He found a plastic enclosure that contained a modified motion-activated spy camera, and four holes that turned out to be a USB port. [More]
Look out when you’re on the road: police and state standards agencies have noticed a scary trend near highways in New England. Bluetooth card skimmers are appearing on gas pumps and ATMs in New England, slurping up customers’ payment data and beaming it to thieves who may be sitting just around the corner. [More]
If you took a summer vacation this year, you may have spent it on a beach, on a boat, or at a theme park. Security journalist Brian Krebs spent his summer vacation doing something that sounds super-fun to us: hunting down compromised ATMs in Mexico. He found quite a few, and also learned who might be behind all of his fraud. [More]
Reader J. had what we’re sure was a wonderful vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last November, and used his Citibank ATM card to withdraw cash as needed. When he returned home, he noticed multiple withdrawals on some days, and the “extra” transactions were for amounts much larger than what he remembered taking out. J. says that Citibank wouldn’t reverse the transactions, since the card never left his possession. [More]
Banks and credit unions here in the United States are reporting ATM card fraud that originated with skimmers in the touristy town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Imagine the opportunity from a criminal’s point of view: an area full of American tourists with nice, magnetic-strip cards! Would you have been a victim? It helps if you know how to spot a compromised cash machine. [More]
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.
Reader Andrew noticed this picture of an an incredibly high-end professional ATM skimmer that is virtually undetectable.
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.