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What is ATM Skimming?
Automatic teller machine skimming occurs when a criminal places a small device over the card slot on an ATM. This device looks like the original card slot, and it blends into the face of the ATM. To an untrained eye, there is nothing that looks different, but when the card slides through the slot, all of the information on the magnetic strip is read, or “skimmed.”
This is a common practice because the technology is easy, and there is not yet technology to protect the plastic card system, which is antiquated.
There are two parts of the devices that allow criminals to take the data from the card. First, there is the skimmer device itself, and second is a tiny, wireless camera that records the PIN as the user types it into the keypad.
Some of the places where the cameras are often hidden include:
- In the brochure holder of the ATM
- In the light bar at the top of the keypad
- In the speaker on the face of the ATM
- In a box behind the small mirror on the ATM
These thieves are also brazen enough to look for work that will give them ATM access.
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