NYC ATMs visited by 'Skim Reaper'
The New York Police Department is testing a new product capable of detecting a card skimmer on an ATM or fuel pump.
The "Skim Reaper" is a thin device that fits into the card reader slot, and can quickly detect a skimmer, if present, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Developed by cybersecurity expert Patrick Traynor (after his card data was skimmed for the second time within 15 years) and a pair of Florida graduate students, the Reaper looks for the read head in an ATM or fuel pump.
If it finds more than one read head, indicating that a skimmer is in place, the Reaper sends an alert to a connected box with a display indicating that a possible skimmer has been found.
Currently, the device is being tested by four New York City detectives charged with keeping the city's ATMs skimmer-free. According to the report, the Reaper recently identified a skimmer on an ATM in Brooklyn.
Traynor told the AP that the development team is continuing its work on the device, trying to make it sufficiently small (i.e., credit card size) and inexpensive (currently it costs $50) to be practical for consumer use.