That ATM might not be safe

November 23, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
How careful are you when you go to an ATM for cash? The machine at your bank might not be as safe as you think. In fact, someone might be trying to steal your information.Raleigh police are urging people to be on the lookout for sophisticated devices called skimmers that can steal your ATM card number. Crooks often place the devices over existing card slots on ATMs. They read your card information as you slide your card through. Either a fake key pad is used to steal your pin number, or a tiny camera records you typing it in.

Click here for some pictures of one type of ATM skimmer

Raleigh police have some tips on what to watch out for. Closely examine ATM card slots to make sure nothing appears to be attached to the front of them.

  • Do not use an ATM if the card reader appears to be added on, to fit poorly or to be loose.
  • Avoid device instructions that say things like "Swipe Here First" or "Use This Machine Only."
  • If something does not look right, use another ATM.
  • Always cover the ATM keypad as you're entering your PIN in case a hidden camera is nearby.
  • Don't accept "help" from anybody at an ATM machine.
  • Immediately call the customer service number on the ATM if a machine keeps your card, appears suspicious or does not function properly.

If you see someone's not quite right when you go to an ATM, call police right away. It can keep you or someone else from becoming a victim.


Load Comments