Fraud ~ ATM Fraud

What is ATM skimming?

ATM skimming is when criminals electronically steal or “skim” a cardholder’s personal financial information during ATM transactions. By fitting an unseen portable electronic card reader and mini camera onto an ATM, they can potentially “cash out” debit card accounts, clone new debit/credit cards or sell cardholder personal information to crime syndicates.

An international ring of criminals are ripping off bank customers at ATMs using high-tech devices to copy pin codes and access their accounts.  The crooks put a ‘carbon copy’ of the slot opening over the slot where your card goes into the ATM to read the card’s magnetic strip.  Mini cameras are concealed using a covering which is put above or on the side of the ATM to record the pin number being entered.


A woman in Australia was told by her bank’s fraud section that her account had been illegally used to withdraw $1100 in Canada.  The same bank called a large number of customers who were also victims and had cancelled their cards to prevent any more funds being stolen from their accounts.

An international skimming gang of Bulgarians were caught stealing $1.6 million from 600 accounts but seven gang leaders got away and fled to Canada.  They plundered money from Australian accounts at ATMs in Toronto using the cards they had copied in Australia.

To make matters worse, there are more high-tech skimming devices surfacing overseas.  They use a  touch sensitive cover over the keypad to record the pin numbers.  The pin numbers are then transmitted to a laptop computer up to 100 metres away.   After 20 or so uses, the thieves copy the magnetic strip data onto a blank card and use the pin numbers they have recorded to access your account.

The Best Way to Protect Yourself  –   Use your hand to cover the keypad as you enter your pin code so the camera can’t see. ~ ATM Skimmers

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