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ATM Scam

The FBI and police across the country are seeing cases of people having their entire bank accounts drained in ATM scams.  The criminals will attach a face plate onto an existing ATM machine over the slot that you would swipe your card through.  The face plate  will record your account and pin number, and the scammers will just have to retrieve that information later.

In another version, the face plate covers the entire screen of the ATM.  They will sometimes even create a sign that says that "We are testing out a new system, so your screen options may have changed" so that you are not quite as alarmed when the machine does not work like it should.  When you enter your PIN number, the ATM will appear to reject and "eat" your card.  The scammers will later come and retrieve both your card, and the PIN number you entered on their fake touch screen.


How to Protect Yourself

  • If you notice that the ATM machine looks different than the last time you were at it, do not use it
  • Run your finger along the card slot before you swipe the card.  If you feel little prongs. which is how the scammers get the card back out, then do not use that ATM
  • Use the ATM machines in bank lobbies.  These are less likely to be targeted by scammers

Media Links

• March 26, 2003



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