ATM Route

I try to be safe and not use ATM machines in untrusted places but my bank is a trusted place, right? Well, after seeing the two devices below, I now have a new appreciation for the ability criminals have to fool me.

The Skimmer
First a criminal would need to get a copy of the magnetic strip on my ATM card and for that they use a skimmer. While that may be easy with some untrusted ATM in a shady bar, you would not think they could pull this off at a reputable bank. Especially your bank that you always go to. Look below at one of the skimmers a criminal attached to the outside of a normal ATM reader. When you insert your card it gets read twice. Once by the ATM and once by the skimmer. I may just tug on the next ATM card reader that I use just to make sure it doesn’t come off.

The Camera
Next they need your PIN. The easiest way to get your PIN is with a hidden camera. Watch out for mirrors that could have a camera behind it. Just like with the skimmer above you need to examine the ATM. If you look close at the photo below you can see the grey bar that looks like a piece of the ATM machine.  It’s not. It is a pin hole camera that someone placed on the ATM machine to steal customers PINs. That camera would capture your pin nicely and even when you use your body block twist motion so others can’t see. I would have never noticed it, would you?

Here is a look at the back of the camera after it was pulled down…


The moral of this story, don’t just watch out for criminals who will physically take your money at the ATM but also beware of the electronic tools thieves use at the ATM.