Last year we showed you how to spot an ATM card skimmer. Thieves have increased their efforts and are now using tiny pinhole cameras to capture your PIN number too. Keep the keypad covered to increase security.
The video above is actual footage from a card skimming rig recovered by police in the United Kingdom. You can see the thieves installing the skimmer and the camera, as well as customers both shielding and not shielding their PIN number as they enter it. While the customers are obviously unaware of the card skimmer and camera monitoring them, their healthy paranoia about their PIN number protects them even in the absence of someone looking directly over their shoulder.
While you're thinking about ATM security, here are some other tips to consider:
- Always examine the ATM for signs of tampering. Keep an eye out for discoloured, loose fitting or odd looking parts.
- If possible, avoid third-party ATMs. ATMs inside a bank lobby, for example, are very unlikely to be compromised where as ATMs in remote locations or run by unknown companies present a higher risk.
- Keep envelopes for your most frequently used ATM in your car or office so you can prepare your deposit ahead of time.
- Keep an adequate amount of cash on hand to avoid emergency trips to an ATM in areas you are unfamiliar with or at unsafe hours.
For more ATM safety tips, check out this list complied by the Electronic Funds Transfer Association and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Have a security tip or experience with identity theft? Let's hear about it in the comments.