Tags: ATM | Skimming | Billion-Dollar | Crime

ATM Skimming - A Billion-Dollar Crime

Friday, 29 September 2006 12:00 AM

These days, it seems that the corrupt minds of unscrupulous criminals continue to work overtime. Here is a fresh swindle that is quickly making its way across America and other countries worldwide.

Until now, your greatest crime risk when using an ATM was to be a victim of an armed robbery or somebody trying to "shoulder surf" your ATM card's PIN.

But according to a news release from the Florida Department of Banking and Finance, a new sophisticated scam has been reported. It is called ATM skimming.

In this ingenious rip-off, lawbreakers are taking advantage of technology to make counterfeit ATM cards by using a "skimmer." A skimmer is merely a card-swipe device that reads the information on a consumer's ATM card. The thief also captures the customer's PIN with a small camera mounted in the skimmer itself or at another location near the ATM.

According to law enforcement officials, these skimming rings will often send their stolen ATM data to remote locations, including overseas, where factories are ready to manufacture sham debit and credit cards.

According to a recent ATM trade article, the U.S. Secret Service estimates the monetary losses due to ATM skimming to be about $350,000 a day in the United States alone. In fact, card skimming is considered to be the number one ATM-related crime.

Skimming has risen substantially, and these high-tech bandits are fast gaining in their technical finesse, including purchasing their own ATMs to capture your personal banking data.

Here are some tips to help reduce the opportunity that these crooked criminals will skim your ATM card:

For more information on ATM skimming, log on to www.dbf.state.fl.us.

So, be alert and smart: If the ATM you are about to use doesn't look right, just don't use it!

(Note: If you manufacture or distribute any Security, Safety, Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Defense or Crime Prevention related products, please send information on your product line for possible future reference in this column to: CrimePrevention123@yahoo.com.)

Copyright 2006 by Bruce Mandelblit

Bruce is a nationally known security journalist, as well as a recently retired, highly decorated reserve Law Enforcement Officer.

Bruce writes Staying Safe, a weekly syndicated column covering the topics of security, safety and crime prevention.

Bruce was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel – the state's highest honor – for his public service.

This column is provided for general information purposes only. Please check with your local law enforcement agency and legal professional for information specific to you and your jurisdiction.

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These days, it seems that the corrupt minds of unscrupulous criminals continue to work overtime.Here is a fresh swindle that is quickly making its way across America and other countries worldwide. Until now, your greatest crime risk when using an ATM was to be a victim...
ATM,Skimming,Billion-Dollar,Crime
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2006-00-29
Friday, 29 September 2006 12:00 AM
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