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MARKETANALYST.US / ECONOMY & WORK

All About Skimming Devices Used for Stealing Card Information From Check Out Counters and ATMs

Many businesses are taking steps with one ATM company redesigning machines to prevent card skimming at ATMs.
PUBLISHED APR 29, 2024
Image Source: Photo by Alexandros Chatzidimos | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Alexandros Chatzidimos | Pexels

The online space has emerged as a breeding ground for scammers with everything from transactions to shopping taking place in the digital realm. But now fraudsters have also started employing innovative ways to scam people in the real world, and the United States Secret Service has issued a warning to shoppers to be careful when they scan their cards at checkout.

They highlighted the risk posed by Skimming devices that are placed on top of a card reader at a gas pump or cash register that steal customers' credit card information. Scammers then acquire the card information to commit identity theft and also to steal money from the card owner.

In Nevada alone, authorities have so far recovered 18 illegal skimmers. Apart from these, the customs of card skimming scams have come forward.



“They (clients) are saying I went to spend my money this month and there's nothing there,” says Marni Whalen, Nevada Deputy Administrator of the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, via The Sun.

As per Whalen a whopping $1 million was taken from the victim's accounts. "Between July and March, we had about 1600 claims, that totaled $500 thousand in benefits that we were able to reimburse," explained Whalen. "For April, we’ve had close to 2000 claims and another $500 thousand in reimbursements just in April," he added.

Nevada Authorities also found skimmers in popular locations like ATMs, and gas pumps. As per the authorities, they got six skimmers from gas pumps, and three from ATMs, and 16 from store registers.

“Consumers are encouraged that before they use an ATM, point of sale terminal or any card reader to inspect it first,” said Special Agent, Karon Ransom. "Check for anything loose, damaged, scratched," he added.



As per the FBI, there are a few ways in which one can tell that the skimming dives are attached to the machines. For example, Fuel pump skimmers are usually attached to the internal wiring of the machine and aren't visible to the customer. The skimming devices store data and can be downloaded or wirelessly transferred later. FBI urges everybody to stay on stage and choose a pump that is close to the store and in direct view of the attendant. These pumps are harder to compromise and are generally safe, and the same applies to ATMs, choose the well-lit one. FBI also warns people against "keypad overlays are used instead of pinhole cameras to record PINs. Keypad overlays record a customer’s keystrokes." In these cases, it's wise to pull at the edges of the keypad before entering the pin. For more information and precautions click here, to get through the guidelines, issued by the FBI.

A Commonwealth Bank Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) at Circular Quay, Sydney Australia. Thursday 16th January 2014. Getty Images | Photo by Steve Christo
A Commonwealth Bank Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) at Circular Quay, Sydney Australia. Thursday 16th January 2014. Getty Images | Photo by Steve Christo

Many businesses are taking steps and one ATM company is redesigning machines to prevent card skimming at ATMs. The firm called Diebold Nixdorf which makes these machines for American banks, are now making machines that are more flush which is making it easier to see any cameras or unusual things attached to them.

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