A skimmer is a device that can be placed over the card reader, and is most commonly utilized on an ATM. The device “skims” the information from cards put into the reader, and it sends those details to a scam artist. Then, the scam artist can use that information to generate a new card with the same account information, or they can use the information to make card-not-present (CNP) purchases. To protect your ATM from skimmers, keep the following tips in mind.
1. Choose a Safe Location
When deciding where to put your ATM, choose the safest location possible. Inside your bank or credit union lobby is typically the safest spot, but as that is not convenient to customers outside of banking hours, unless the vestibule can be accessed with a card after hours. If you must put your ATM outside, make sure it’s in a well-lit area. Take the relative safety of your neighborhood in mind when deciding where to place the ATM.
2. Maintain Security Efforts
Stay on top of the security measures protecting your ATM. Make sure that your security camera is on and working, and ideally, try to save your recordings. Then, if you get a report of a skimmer or any other issue with your ATM, you can go through the old footage to see if you can find the scam artist. Also, regularly check to make sure light bulbs, locks, or other security features are working properly.
3. Manually Inspect the ATM Regularly
On a regular basis, look over the ATM to see if anything looks unusual. If the card slot appears to be bigger or bulkier than usual, a skimmer may be attached. Similarly, if ATM cards don’t go in and out of the machine easily, that can also indicate the presence of a skimmer.
When trying to hijack details from ATMs, thieves also need the card’s PIN number. If they can’t get that from the skimmer, they may set up a hidden camera nearby to capture the card holder putting in their PIN. To find hidden cameras, keep an eye out for anything that looks suspicious around the ATM.
4. Never Allow Unknown Technicians to Check Your ATM
Some scam artists pretend to be ATM technicians. They arrive at your financial institution, say that they have been sent by the “head office”, and tell you that they need to examine the ATM. This lie draws suspicion away from the thief and gives them the opportunity to play with the machine for an unwieldy amount of time so they can install the skimmer.
To avoid this risk, never let an unknown technician check your machine. Keep in mind that they may have fake IDs that appear to be issued by the ATM manufacturer. To be on the safe side, never let anyone service the ATM unless you know them or are expecting them.
5. Educate Your Customers
Let your customers know about common frauds and threats such as ATM skimmers. When your customers’ accounts are compromised, they may face some of the liability, but depending on the situation, financial institutions have to deal with a significant portion of the losses as well.
6. Invest in Fraud Detection Tools
Fraud detection tools don’t necessarily notice that a skimmer is on your ATM, but these tools can notice differences in your customer’s ATM or debit card usage. If someone steals your customer’s ATM or debit card information from a skimmer, they are likely to start making unusual purchases or cash withdrawals.
Quality fraud detection software notices this unusual activity and alerts you so that you can do a manual review of the situation. If you get multiple reports of fraud related to ATM or debit cards, that can be an indication that a scam artist is stealing information from customers using your ATM.
At SQN Banking Systems, we offer comprehensive fraud detection and prevention products, services, and solutions that can protect your financial institution and your customers. To learn more about how our solutions can help detect ATM card fraud, contact us today. We look forward to making fraud prevention and protection easy for you.