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Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in Companies |

How to safely use an ATM

How to safely use an ATM


The wave of crime which took place in southern Chile last week – where more than 2,153 people were affected, making it the largest fraud in American history – came to the fore the issue of safety when out money from an ATM.

First things first: The scammers are thousands around the world, grouped into syndicates of bank fraud that will always be one step ahead of Security systems implemented by a bank. Does that mean we should manage our money back through the windows and the human tellers? Not at all.

It is a fact that banks are responsible for the thefts that occur within their facilities, and must assume responsibility to have the most advanced devices that guarantee greater security for their customers. However, we must not ignore that with minimal education about banking security, one can avoid many bad times.

It should be clear that the theft through cloning of bank cards occur in two steps: One is to obtain the information contained in the magnetic stripe card, the other step is to obtain the secret key of the card, the pin number.

The magnetic stripe card is not secure by itself. Basically, is the digital equivalent of a lock key (but can be disabled via telephone): If someone with expertise can put your hands on the card, it may be copied for use later give one like if you have the key to the account.

To copy the magnetic stripe of the card there are hundreds of different devices called skimmers ATM (ATM ATM stands for English) and consist of devices that are installed in the slot of the ATM to copy the magnetic stripe card when you enter .

How to safely use an ATM image 2

Since there are so many different skimmers as models of ATMs, often indistinguishable from the slot, there is no standard recommendation for identification. What needs to be fixed, at bottom, is that the slot does not have any loose parts that can be installed above a device to read the card, even if plastic parts designed to make safer the cashier.

How to safely use an ATM image 3

In the picture there is a skimmer that simulates the plastic piece that protects the slot. The only thing different from an ATM not changed is the piece on top.

How to safely use an ATM image 4

There are even devices such as the one above, made of 3D printers so that even the most expert eye is unable to differentiate it from a real one.

How to safely use an ATM image 5


The technology to steal even goes so far no skimmer apparatus which, according the European Organisation for the Safety of ATMs, EAST (European ATM stands for Security & Fraud Prevention) – can be installed in the card reader.

How to safely use an ATM image 6

Given the variety of ways to copy a magnetic stripe, you make it work harder to cheat with his hand always covering the pin number input.

This is because scammers set up cameras in the ceiling or on top of an ATM to record when you enter your password. Unfortunately it does not mean that one can be trusted, because there are keyboards that are installed above the ATM to record the entry of the pin.

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On the Internet, especially in some Russian sites, one can find these devices for prices up to U.S. $ 8,000 (shipping included). Specially designed for NCR ATMs model 5886.

It should always be clear that, as stated in the beginning, a thief will always be one step forward (and researchers as well, even as there are those who suggest that with an infrared camera can even find someone even pin plug the camera due to heat residual, but it is extremely difficult to implement). This does not call the paranoia and distrust, but to be able to recognize, deep down, the bases to go safely to withdraw money from an ATM.

In summary:

  • Look at all suspicious piece and move it to see if it stuck. There are no screws involved in skimming machines (so far).
  • Verify that the keyboard is not a component for. As seen in the last image, however you use glue to attach a keyboard false.
  • Cover with one hand always enter the pin, but there are no people around and cameras in sight.

All About Skimmers (Krebs on security)
ATM Skimming (Hide yourself online blog)

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