Skimming machines How can you tell??
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Skimming machines have become more and more common in today’s age. It is a sad unavoidable truth that we must be cautious when using ATMs. This article covers what skimming machines are, how you can tell if the ATM has one, and how to avoid them.
What is a skimming machine?
A skimming machine is a machine that automatically steals (skims) debit or credit card details. While this used to be done manually, there have now been small devices designed to make it easy for them. A skimming machine is typically a small device that clips on top of a normal card reader. It looks almost the same as a normal card reader, so it can be hard to spot. The difference is, a skimmer keeps a record of your card details, and in some cases, your key presses. Meaning when the scammers come to pick up their skimmer, they have everything they need to empty your accounts, and you haven’t even realized your card details have been stolen. The details about your card are stored in its magnetic strip, so once that has been read, they know everything.
How can you tell?
There are a few ways to tell if the card reader has a skimmer attached.
First, does it pass the eye test? Not all skimmers are well fitted on and realistic looking. If you are looking at a card reader and it just looks off, if it doesn’t seem quite right, just leave it. Your gut instinct is very often right, and in these situations, it is better to be safe than sorry. The best practice is to try to pull it off. If it comes off easily it is a skimmer. They simply overlay it on the original. The pull a bit see what happens.
Second, give the card reader a hard pull, as mention above. If you tuck your fingers into the insert and pull hard, you are sure to find out if there is a skimmer or not. If bits of the card reader comes off, its a skimmer. If anything comes off with a circuit board in it, you can be 100% sure. A real machine firstly won’t break when you pull it and doesn’t have any of the card reading components on the outside of the machine; it’s all internal.
TotesNewsworthy Suggest you Pull on the Insert
Lastly, look for the finer details that don’t add up. Are the keys slightly too thick? Is there scuffing and markings around the insert that shouldn’t be there? If you find that the graphic details, such as instructions for use, are slightly covered up, there is a good chance it is because a skimmer has been attached. Lastly, look for small cameras aimed at the card reader. Not all skimmers are capable of stealing your keypresses; some need the aid of a camera to piece together all the data.