Skimmers are concealed devices planted on ATMs by criminals. These devices are often undetectable at first glance but swiping or inserting your card into a skimmed ATM can lead to dangerous consequences.
If you believe you've been a victim of ATM skimming, please contact BECU immediately.
What Is Skimming?
Skimming is an illegal activity that involves the installation of a scanning device — usually undetectable by ATM users — that secretly records bank account data. It happens when unsuspecting users insert their ATM card into the compromised machine. Criminals can then use the stolen data to create fake debit or credit cards and steal from the victims' bank accounts.
How To Check For Skimmers
The equipment used to skim data looks very similar to normal ATM equipment in color and texture, so it can be easy to miss unless you're looking for it.
Before using, check the following parts of the ATM:
- Card insert slot: A skimmer may be mounted to front of the ATM. It fits right over the normal card slot.
- PIN keypad: Keypad overlays are a common tactic criminals use to secretly capture PINs. The overlay records keystrokes.
What To Do if You Discover a Skimming Device
- Call the police and notify BECU immediately.
- Closely monitor your account for any unusual activity.
- Check your credit report regularly.
Security Tips When Using an ATM
- Be aware of your surroundings and trust your intuition. If you see or sense something suspicious, do not use the ATM. Don't use a card reader if you notice anything unusual.
- Before using any ATM, inspect the area around you, as well as the machine itself. Look for anything on the machine that's loose, crooked, damaged or scratched. These are common signs that scammers leave when attempting to modify an ATM.
- Check for bulkiness on the card insert area and keypad.
- Wiggle the card slot and keypad for any loose-fitting attachments.
- Use ATMs in well-lit, indoor locations, which can be less vulnerable targets.
- Be alert in tourist areas, as they are popular targets for skimming crimes.
- Even if the machine looks fine, be proactive: Block the top and side views of the keypad when entering your PIN and always take your receipts with you.
- Be sure to check your account transactions on a daily basis to monitor for any abnormal activity.