It’s genius, totally evil, and hides in plain sight. Most people have never heard of an ATM skimmer before, but unless you know what to look for you could fall victim to one.
The FBI and Secret Service have been warning the public about these devices as they become more common across the country.
The basic idea behind an ATM skimmer is that something has been added to the machine to steal your credit card number and PIN. While they’re most commonly found on bank ATMs, they’ve also been spotted on gas pumps and regular credit card readers.
These flimsy little devices are surprisingly profitable for the crooks who set them up. A pair of brothers in New York netted more than $1 million by attaching skimmers to ATM machines in 2010.
And the risk of having your identity stolen is even greater if you haven’t switched to a chip card yet (as many as 55% of Americans haven’t).
Thankfully, once you know what to look for, this scam is easy to avoid.