Converted ATM’s Steal Bank Customer ID’s – ATM Skimming Fraud Warning

Email forward with photographs shows how criminals can steal bank customer ID’s using ATM skimming equipment and hidden cameras.


Subject: Bank ATM’s Converted to Steal IDs of Bank CustomersThis is IMPORTANT to look out for!
Bank ATM’s Converted to Steal IDs of Bank Customers

A team of organized criminals are installing equipment on legitimate bank ATM’s in at least 2 regions to steal both the ATM card number and the PIN. The team sits nearby in a car receiving the information transmitted wirelessly over weekends and evenings from equipment they install on the front of the ATM (see photos). If you see an attachment like this, do not use the ATM and report it immediately to the bank using the 800 number or phone on the front of the ATM.

The equipment used to capture your ATM card number and PIN are cleverly disguised to look like normal ATM equipment. A “skimmer” is mounted to the front of the normal ATM card slot that reads the ATM card number and transmits it to the criminals sitting in a nearby car.

At the same time, a wireless camera is disguised to look like a leaflet holder and is mounted in a position to view ATM PIN entries.

The thieves copy the cards and use the PIN numbers to withdraw thousands from many accounts in a very short time directly from the bank ATM.

Equipment being installed on front of existing bank card slot.
The equipment as it appears installed over the normal ATM bank slot.
The PIN reading camera being installed on the ATM is housed in an innocent looking leaflet enclosure.
The camera shown installed and ready to capture PIN’s by looking down on the keypad as you enter your PIN

Tell more people>>>>>>

Detailed Analysis:
This warning is legitimate and was published on the University of Texas website and other online locations including the Dedhams Savings Bank website. The logos and text shown in the images indicate that they were taken at a Bradesco Bank ATM in Brazil.

High tech fraud involving Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) is on the rise. ATM fraud of this nature is known as “skimming”. Typically, criminals use a hidden card reading device and a camera to steal customer’s card information and pin number. They then have enough data to create counterfeit ATM cards.

An article on the Security Magazine website explains that:

In this ingenious rip-off, lawbreakers take advantage of technology to make counterfeit ATM cards by using a skimmer. It’s a card-swipe device that reads the information on a consumer’s ATM card. The thief also captures the customer’s PIN number with a small camera mounted in the skimmer itself or at another location near the ATM.

To many of us, using an ATM machine has become a commonplace activity. In fact, we may not be especially vigilant while using an ATM, and criminals can use this complacency to successfully engage in ATM skimming. Probably the best way to avoid becoming a victim of ATM skimming is to foster the habit of closely examining the device and its surroundings before inserting or swiping our ATM cards. Dedhams Savings Bank has the following advice on its ATM safety page:

When using any ATM, be aware of anything that may look unusual about the card slot area of the ATM. If you suspect that it has been tampered with, report it to the bank or local police immediately.

The page also has other ATM safety tips that are well worth heeding.

The information in this email forward should be taken seriously and it is indeed “important to look out for” skimming devices on ATM’s.

Last updated: 24th may 2007
First published: June 2005
By Brett M. Christensen
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