Member Alert – ATM Card Skimming Frauds on the Rise

ATM card skimming fraud involves the attachment of electronic devices on or around an ATM to illegally collect data from the magnetic strip of the card, while hidden cameras are also installed to capture the personal identification number entered by the customer.

These electronic devices used to capture the information vary in design, size, and shape, and look similar to legitimate devices. In some cases, criminals situate themselves near a compromised ATM and capture card data using a wireless device that is sometimes plugged into the network cables of the ATM’s phone or internet connection. Often the criminals install the device for only a short period of time to avoid detection.

Card skimming is an industry-wide issue and not unique to one type of ATM. Therefore, members should monitor their accounts and report suspicious activity.

How to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of ATM card skimming

Check all ATMs and other card-reading devices before use. Signs of card skimmers include:

  • The ATM cover looks loose
  • Scratches or sticky tape residue which might indicate a false ATM front
  • A pinhole on the machine which could indicate a camera has been installed
  • An extra keypad layered over the ATM’s keypad and
  • Try jiggling the card reader – if it moves, it could be a card skimmer.

Opt for ATMs inside buildings and in high traffic areas as these are harder for criminals to target.

Cover the keys when entering your pin.

If you have a choice, opt for credit (or using your debit card as credit) to prevent criminals from gaining access to your pin.

Be more aware on weekends because criminals are more likely to install skimmers after a bank or credit union has closed, making it harder for members to report a problem.

If an ATM looks suspicious in any way, don’t use it. Report it to the bank or police.

Check your bank statement as soon as you receive it and report any suspicious entries to your bank or credit card company.

The steps you should take if you become a victim of ATM card skimming

If you become a victim of ATM card skimming, you should:

  • Contact Energy Credit Union immediately to report any suspicious activity on your account.
  • Continue to monitor you credit report – criminals may continue to use your information.
  • Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a “fraud alert” on your credit records: