Protect Yourself from ATM Skimming

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Maria Contreras Maria Contreras is the Marketing Manager at Consumers Credit Union.
  • Posted on 12/20/2016
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) provide a quick and convenient way to withdraw money from your account. Unfortunately, the popularity of ATMs may also attract thieves. So it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) provide a quick and convenient way to withdraw money from your account. Unfortunately, the popularity of ATMs may also attract thieves. So it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM.

One technique thieves use to defraud ATM accounts is called “skimming”. ATM skimming occurs when a thief installs a hidden electronic device onto an ATM and uses it to steal personal information stored on your debit or credit cards. According to a report from FICO, ATM skimming is a crime that is on the rise.

So what can you do to help thwart identity theft while using an ATM? Follow these simple security tips to make every ATM visit a safe one:

Check the ATM Keypad: The next time you’re at the ATM, take a closer look at the keypad before you insert your card into the reader. If the keypad looks thicker than usual or appears suspicious, it is possible criminals could have been tampered with it seeking to capture your Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you have concerns about the keypad, move on to another ATM.

Check the ATM Card Reader: Does the card reader seem bulky or designed differently than the rest of the ATM? If the card reader assembly feels loose or is oddly colored, then it’s probably best to steer clear and use another ATM.

Cover the Keypad: When you’re entering your PIN, use your hand to cover the keypad. Some thieves will stand where they can see over your shoulder or use tiny hidden cameras to steal your PIN.

Keep Your PIN To Yourself:
Memorize your PIN and do not keep it in your wallet. Your PIN is the key to accessing all of your personal banking information. If thieves can discover your PIN, they can steal money from your accounts. If you keep your PIN written down on a piece of paper in your wallet, you run the risk of someone seeing it when you pull it out, drop it unintentionally, or worse, lose your wallet with your debit card and PIN together.

If you feel that a Consumers Credit Union ATM has been tampered with, please let one of our branch staff know so that a thorough investigation can be conducted. If an ATM at another location appears suspicious, please make the facility and law enforcement aware of the potentially compromised device.