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How to Spot an ATM Skimmer

ATM skimmers are just one of the latest devices that thieves are creating to try and capture your card information, and sometimes your Personal Identification Number, right from a local ATM.

The devices are usually attached to the card reader, and “skim” your card information from the magnetic strip on the back of your card. Occasionally, a recording device or PIN pad overlay will be used to try and capture your PIN as you enter it.

Here are a few tips on how to spot an ATM skimmer, and how to protect yourself at an ATM:

  • Use well-lit ATMs with good site lines. Avoid ATMs that have missing or burned out lights, so that your surroundings are well lit, and make sure you scan the surroundings to ensure that nothing looks out of place.
  • Scan the ATM face if it’s familiar. If it’s an ATM you use often, you might notice if some of the equipment looks different or out of place.
  • Scan the machine to see that everything matches in color, size and type of material. Often a skimming device is mounted over the top of a card reader, and typically looks like it doesn’t belong – like fitting poorly.
  • Wiggle anything that looks suspicious. If the card reader moves in your hand, or becomes dislodged, use another ATM and contact us about what you found.
  • Cover the PIN pad with your hand as you enter your PIN. Sometimes small cameras are mounted to ATMs to try and capture your PIN.

Most importantly, if you are unsure about anything at an ATM, don’t use the machine. Contact us right away if you have concerns or questions. You can reach us at (800) 556-6768.