I read a good article this morning on debit-card data theft and ATM skimming. Here’s where to find it: May 20, 2015 Wall Street Journal, front page, “Debit-Card Data Theft of ATMs Soaring” by Robin Sidel. There’s a great diagram of an ATM skimmer with the article.
Per FICO, compromised debit-cards at ATMS on bank property have increased by 174% from January 1 – April 9 this year compared to the same time period last year. For non-bank property ATMSs, FICO shows a 317% increase. Albuquerque was named as a new ‘hot spot’ in the article for this type of crime. Among prevention measures coming soon are chip-embedded cards and the roll-out of more advanced ATMs.
What can you do to prevent being a victim? Check your balances often and look for any discrepencies. When using an ATM, look for any parts that ‘wiggle’ or don’t seem secure (could be a skimmer device). When entering your PIN number at an ATM, cover the keypad with one hand while punching in the PIN number with the other hand. Don’t use an ATM that is not clearly visible to passers-by, the bank or parking lot — these out of the way ATMs could be targets for a skimmer and your personal safety could be compromised. If you see anyone loitering or who appears to not have any legitimate business near an ATM, leave and go somewhere else or return another time with someone and report it to the ATM owner.
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, APD – Foothills Area Command