Live ATM Skimming Video Confiscated

Nov. 6, 2010 | by Robert Siciliano

ATM skimming, the top ATM-related crime, accounts for about $350,000 in fraud every day in the United States, exceeding a billion dollars a year.


An organization called EAST, or European ATM Security Team, posted seized video footage from a compromised ATM, depicting the installation of a camera and skimmer. The video shows how criminals collect cardholders’ PINs.  It also shows how easily cardholders can protect their PINs. This must-see video is simple, but says a lot. (You can watch more ATM skimming demonstrations on Extra TV.)


EAST explains, “while the vast majority of ATM transactions are completely secure, criminals do occasionally target cash machines to try to either steal cards (card trapping) or to copy cards (card skimming). In both cases, the criminals need to obtain the 4-digit cardholder PIN to allow for fraudulent cash withdrawal. The video shows criminals installing a micro camera above an ATM PIN pad and then placing a skimming device over the card reader throat. The scenes that follow show cardholders conducting transactions at the ATM and it’s easy to see that the criminals can’t obtain the PIN of those who cover their hand when entering it.”


When using an ATM, beware of skimming devices. The following cardholder security tips are courtesy of the LINK ATM Scheme.


– Protect your PIN by standing close to the ATM and shielding the key pad with your other hand.


– Check to see if anything looks unusual or suspicious about the ATM. If it appears to have anything stuck onto the card slot or key pad, do not use it. Cancel the transaction and walk away. Never try to remove suspicious devices.


– Be cautious if strangers offer to help you at an ATM, even if your card is stuck or you’re having difficulties. Don’t allow anyone to distract you.


– Where possible, use an ATM which is in clear view and well lit.


– Check that other people in the queue are a reasonable distance away from you.


– Keep you PIN secret. Never reveal it to anyone, even someone who claims to be calling from your bank or a police officer.


– Avoid opening you purse, bag or wallet when you’re in the queue. Put your money away immediately.


– Regularly check your account balance and bank statements, and report any discrepancies to your bank immediately.


Robert Siciliano is a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert. See him discuss ATM skimming on Fox Boston. (Disclosures)


Topics: Security

Robert Siciliano / Robert Siciliano is CEO of He is a nationally known speaker on the subject of identity theft.

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