ATM skimming is not a new form of fraud. However, these types of scams are becoming more and more prevalent at ATMs in gas stations, shopping centers and even financial institutions. Criminals are able to build devices capable of reading your card and capturing sensitive data that can be used to create counterfeit cards. Luckily, Neighbors Federal Credit Union has a number of systems in place to protect our members including 24/7 account monitoring. However, as with any scam, awareness, education and consumer vigilance is the best way to ensure you don’t become a victim.
Here are several ways to protect yourself from ATM skimming:
1. Examine the machine. Be wary of a slot that looks unusual or has visible signs of glue or adhesive tape. Gently push or pull the machine. If it’s not solid, notify the financial institution or authorities.
2. Look for hidden cameras or any signs the PIN pad has been tampered with. Often the criminals are trying to capture your PIN with hidden cameras or digital overlays to record keystrokes. They place small pinhole cameras near the ATM and point them toward the keypad. Or in some instances, the keypad has been tampered with to electronically capture your PIN. Look for components that are temporarily affixed to the machine.
3. Cover the keypad. When using the keypad, cover your hand as you enter your PIN. Additionally, be aware of anyone standing too close.
4. Be aware of your surroundings. Scammers are more likely to target an ATM that is in a high-traffic area. Choose one that is inside a bank or within the sight of a security camera for safety.
5. Get to know your financial institution. Understand the policies and procedures of your bank or credit union. If you see something on an ATM that looks fraudulent, alert the financial institution staff members immediately.
6. Know what’s happening. Review your statement and keep an eye out for anything that seems out of place. Set up alerts in Neighbors FCU’s online banking platform to notify you of certain transactions. Online and mobile banking provide easy access to up-to-date information, helping you report a loss much sooner.