ATM Scams - Crimes at the Bank Machine

ATM Skimming - Camera Scam

If you thought that you were safe from frauds and scams at your bank's ATM machine, guess again. And while banks are often accused of sleazy business practices, this time it's not the bank behind the scam. ATM skimming is the latest crime. Crooks attached secret camera to the ATM machine to record your PIN and other bank-account information.

Here's how it works: A tiny camera is attached to or inserted in the keypad of the ATM'.  Another device placed nearby, perhaps on the card reader operates the camera. The devices capture information about your account which the crooks use to create fake cards in your name that can be used at any ATM to steal funds from your bank account.

The ATMs located inside banks tend to be safer, and stand-alone, non-bank-related ATMs, like those at convenience stores are the most vulnerable.

To protect your card from being skimmed, always examine the ATM machine that you are about to use.  Look for any signs that it may have been tampered with or have additional attachments - even a plastic box that holds brochures has been used to hide a camera. Or a device mounted over the card reader.  And always cover the keypad with your other hand while punching in your PIN.

Each month, check your bank statement for any withdrawals that you didn't make, and notify your bank immediately, if you find any.

Most banks will refund any lost money IF you you detect skimming and report it to your bank promptly - typically within two months; but verify the policy with your own bank to be sure.


And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!




For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.