Most people have heard about ATM skimmers by now–devices designed to look like and replace an ATM’s card insertion slot. When an unsuspecting ATM user swipes his or her credit card through the fake dummy slot, the skimmer makes a digital copy of the ATM’s magnetic strip, making it easy for thieves to use a victim’s credit card as they please. However, a new twist on this scam not only copies your credit card information, but also captures your PIN numbers.
The new tool goes on top of the ATM’s PIN pad and like the ATM skimmer, users are unable to tell that anything is out of the norm. The plastic PIN pad captures your PIN number as you type it in and many automatically text message the stolen PINs directly to the scammer’s cell phone. Since information is transmitted remotely, the scammer never has to return back to the scene of the crime to capture the information, therefore minimizing risk ten fold. He can even be on the other side of the world, quietly stealing millions of dollars without any effort.
“If it’s done correctly you would not notice that anything looks amiss,” Cyber security expert Brian Krebs says.
The only time you would find out that you are a victim would be when you would check your credit statement and notice you are missing money or that there are unapproved charges. However, when the money is stolen in this way, banks usually cover the expenses so you don’t end up losing all of your money.
It is important to be vigilant because thieves normally drain small amounts of money from your account over a long period of time. Make sure to keep an eye on your credit statement, and make sure you don’t let any suspicious charges slide.
For more information on ATM skimmers and how to detect and avoid them, click here to read the “ATM Card Skimming and PIN capturing Awareness Guide.”
(Via USA Today)