Tips & Advice

How to Avoid an ATM Skimming Scam

Skimming is an illegal activity that involves the installation of a device, usually undetectable by ATM users, that secretly records bank account data when the user inserts their card into the machine. Criminals then encode the stolen data onto a blank card and use it to loot the customer's bank account.

What to look out for:

  • Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it…be suspicious if you see anything loose, crooked, or damaged, or if you notice scratches or adhesive tape residue.
  • When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other hand to   prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
  • If possible, use an ATM at an inside location (less access for criminals to install skimmers).
  • Be careful of ATMs in tourist areas…they are a popular target of skimmers.
  • If your card isn't returned after the transaction or after hitting "cancel," immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.

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