Could you spot a skimmer on your bank's ATM?
SAN ANTONIO —
The San Antonio Police Department has investigated more than seven times the amount of skimmer incidents this year than it did the last, and we're just halfway through this year.
SAPD reports that its investigated six incidents of skimming devices on ATMs and gas pumps last year. In 2017, it had 46 cases.
"They look exactly like the card-reader that's on the machine itself, so it's difficult for the layman, and i'll be honest with you, it's difficult for detectives even to find these devices, these skimming devices on ATMs," said SAPD Lt. Marcus Booth.
Inside the skimmer is a tiny scanner that captures your account information from the magnetic strip on the back of your card.
Ibc bank allowed us to conduct a test to see if atm users could detect the skimmer. We had three people use the ATM, and not one of them noticed the skimmer.
Kevin Mullins with IBC Bank says when using an ATM you should tug gently on the card reader to make sure it's not a skimmer.
The devices are usually attached with pressure tape.
"Wiggle the card reader because if it moves, that's a problem. That's a red flag. Stop, don't use it, call your bank and report it. "
But crooks can't gain access to your money with just the card information. They also need the four-digit pin that you type into the keypad.
They attempt to get that by installing tiny, pinhole cameras to record your finger punching in your pin.
They're usually placed just above or to the side of the keypad.
"So, if you can take your free hand and just get over the keypad, I know it sounds paranoid, I used to think it was paranoid, it's not anymore, protect your pin entry with your free hand," said SAPD Lt. Marcus Booth.
Mullins also recommends to take a moment before using the ATM to look for anything suspicious on it. He also says to only use well lit ATMs in high traffic areas where it's more difficult for crooks to tamper with them.