Image: Erol Ahmed on Unsplash
Skimming scams are everywhere, but according to Krebs on Security, there’s another component to them that’s easy to prevent—scammers recording your PIN number.
“Very often the most clever component of your typical ATM skimming attack is the hidden pinhole camera used to record customers entering their PIN,” writes Krebs. “These little video bandits can be hidden 100 different ways, but they’re frequently disguised as ATM security features — such as an extra PIN pad privacy cover, or an all-in-one skimmer over the green flashing card acceptance slot at the ATM.”
Krebs writes that this is particularly common at drive-up ATMs, and people who use them can become easy prey for scammers. One simple solution: Cover the PIN pad with your hand, bag or something else, just as you would at a walk-up ATM—though, as Krebs notes, that can be physically difficult to do from your car. (If that’s the case for you, consider using a walk-up ATM instead.)
“The skimmer scammers don’t just want your bank card: They want your PIN so they can create an exact copy of the card and use it at another ATM to empty your checking or savings account,” writes Krebs. Covering the pad makes it infinitely more difficult for them to do so, which is likely enough of a deterrent for the scammer to move on to someone else.