ATM Skimming

Situational Awareness & Safe Banking Practices

December 3, 2014

Greenwich CT: Over the past six months, there have been an increase in ATM Skimming incidents in Connecticut.

ATM Skimming involves the attachment of electronic devices on or around the ATM for the purposes of capturing both the magnetic strip data contained on the back of a debit card as well as the PIN number that is entered by the customer when using the ATM. The devices used to capture the information will vary in shapes, sizes and designs but are made to be unobtrusive or mimic legitimate devices.

Financial institutions are working aggressively with law enforcement to counteract such criminal activity . Despite the increase in ATM skimming crimes, they are still relatively rare compared the extensive use of ATM’s in our region. When using an ATM machine follow these suggested safe banking practices to reduce the risk of being a victim of ATM Skimming:

1. Inspect the door access device prior to opening the lobby doors
(Most counterfeit devices are installed with double sided tape and are installed over the original door access device).
2. Use a different card to open the lobby doors
(Most door access devices will open with many different cards that have magnetic stripes gift cards, store cards, credit cards, etc. all work to open the door. )
3. Inspect the machine for items that were installed over or around the PIN pad of the ATM . (Customers should be looking for an attachment on the ATM that contains a small PIN hole that is pointed in the direction of the PIN pad.)
4. Lightly tug the area of the card slot.
(Most skimming devices are attached with double sided tape for quick removal by the crooks).
5. Cover the keypad with you other hand while typing your PIN.
( This is the best way to ensure that your PIN number is not recorded by a PIN Capturing Device!)

Several Sample Skimming Device Photos

PIN Capturing Device Location of PIN capturing Device camera
(Usually placed somewhere above PIN pad)

Counterfeit Door Access Device Placed over original door access Device by lobby door entrance

Skimmer placed over card slot & Partially removed

Skimmer placed over
the original card slot of the ATM

Skimmer removed from ATM

Situational Awareness & Safe Banking Practices

The following indicators may indicate ATM Skimming Activity is or has occurred at the location and should be reported to bank employees if the branch is open. If the bank is not open, the local police department should be notified:

1. Card slot of the ATM is loose or has fallen off, or other parts of the ATM machine have dislodged from the ATM.
2. The presence of double sided tape on the ATM machine or presence of glue or pry marks around the card slot of the ATM.
3. If the door access device at the lobby door has been removed or is not securely attached to the wall.
4. Observation of person(s) attaching or removing or tampering with parts of the ATM machine.
5. Subjects who are using the ATM and are intentionally covering their faces to avoid being depicted (ex. ski masks, hats, scarfs and sunglasses during nighttime use at the ATM).
6. Person(s) using multiple cards one after another in order to withdraw funds from an ATM (may be using counterfeit cards from a skimming incident).
7. Subjects spending long periods of time outside ATM machines and periodically inspect the machine but do not conduct transactions.

Customers should not touch or remove any skimming devices that are detected on the machine. Furthermore, customers should not attempt to confront suspects if they are attaching or removing ATM skimming devices. The presence of skimming devices on an ATM machine should be immediately reported to local law enforcement and to bank management if the branch is open.