Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ATM Skimmer

An ATM skimmer is a device that thieves attach to an ATM machine to read ("skim") the magnetic stripe on the ATM card.  Usually they are installed on the outside of the ATM machine and a wary eye can spot them.  A new "periscope" skimmer has been found in the wild that is installed inside the ATM -- it requires the thief to have a key to open the ATM for installation. See for details.  What can you do to defend yourself?  The skimmer cannot read the PIN you type in -- that is usually read with a tiny camera.  The defense is simple: use one hand to cover the PIN pad while you enter the PIN with the other hand.  Secondarily, be wary of ATM machines that are not owned by a bank -- try to use bank ATMs built into a wall.

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