ATM Skimmers

atm skimmingATM Skimming occurs when your debit card or credit card information is stolen, without your knowledge, while conducting a transaction or making legitimate purchase.  This can happen via  hand held credit card device or at a fixed machine, such as the credit card scanner in a grocery store.

ATM / Handheld Skimmer Threat Level – Moderate!

ATM & credit card skimmers are small devices which thieves insert on the legitimate card reader of an ATM terminal or hand held credit card scanner like those used in restaurants.  The skimmer will scan your credit card and record the number, from which the thief can then extract and use to make illegal charges.  The worst part of skimming is that you have absolutely no idea that it has happened until you notice the fraudulent credit card charge or ATM withdrawals.

What Does ATM Skimming Cost Consumers Annually?

There are over 450,000 ATM’s in the United States.  Annual losses to banks from ATM skimming has reached nearly one billion dollars.  In the past 4 years, the number of ATM skimming incidents reported have grown by 10% each year.  The annual cost to consumers for both ATM & credit card skimming has reached nearly eight billion dollars.

Protect Yourself Against Skimming

Before you use an ATM or credit card machine, inspect it for any parts that don’t appear to be consistent with the color or materials used on the rest of the machine.  If you notice any small cameras or additional wiring near the card scanner that appear to be out of place, find an alternate ATM machine to use and report the suspicious ATM to the bank immediately.


Stolen Information Can Include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Credit card account numbers
  • Personal name
  • ATM PINs

Possible Issues Resulting from Stolen Information:

ATM/Handheld Skimmers Statistics:

  • Over 400,000 ATM’s located in the U.S.
  • ATM skimming costs U.S. banks almost $1 billion annually.
  • Cases reported to the Secret Service has grown 10% for the past 3 years.
  • Total annual loss of ATM and credit card skimming is $8 billion.

For a detailed breakdown on ATM & Credit Card Skimmers, visit http://krebsonsecurity.com/all-about-skimmers/