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Card skimming is the spiteful or malicious devices that are placed in the face of ATM to steal the credit card information or to legitimate the credit or debit card transactions. Card skimming devices appear as part of the ATM, which makes it impossible to differentiate for the general public.

Generally, the card skimmers use two separate components. The first component is a Pinhole camera installed in the ATM that allows collecting the PIN of the ATM users. The camera captures the ATM PINs and other critical information from the cards of the customer. The other component is a skimmer itself. Information present in the magnetic strips is received once the card swiped through the skimmer. The thieves or cybercriminals use this data to prepare the fake ATM cards, withdraw cash, or to shop online.

The sneaky workers who handle the credit cards are usually responsible for card skimming. Some of the workers are employed to be part of the card skimming ring. The workers present in the skimming ring may swipe the customer card through the skimmer without being noticed by the customers. This type of malpractice usually happens in the gas pumps and restaurants where the customers routinely hand over their card to the waiters or the respective representatives, providing them an easy opportunity to steal the information from the cards.

Stolen information from the credit or debit cards allows the criminals to make an online purchase, sell the card data on the Internet, or to make purchases in the stores using the cloned credit or debit cards. Suffers or victims usually are not aware of the changes occurring in their accounts. They only notice when they receive the notification on their email or when their card gets declined unexpectedly.

Criminals use ATMs equipped to record the data of the debit and credit cards. Rigged or equipped ATMs do not help in drawing cash but are placed in public areas similar to a regular ATM.

Securing credit and debit cards from card skimming is very crucial to protect the hard-earned money. Some of the tips to avoid card skimming are as follows:

•  Trust your instincts: If you notice any changes or unusual authenticity in the ATM, then it is best to use different machines, and inform the respective representative about the foul play.

•  Check the machine: It is always the best option to scan the ATM to make sure that the device has not been tampered or equipped. Some of the tampered devices show the behavior such as misalignment of graphics, the damaged, loosened, or crooked card readers or part of the ATM occurs in different colors. If any of the above-mentioned behaviors are exhibited, do not initiate a transaction. Compare the ATM with another nearby for any apparent differences.

•  Better to use the bank ATMs: the non-bank ATMs or the Private-owned ATMs are the places that have a higher risk of card skimming. So it is better to use the Bank-owned ATMs to be safer.

•  Cover the pin: while typing the PIN, it is best to cover the keypad with hands to prevent the camera from recording your PIN.

•  Observe the keypad: check for the false keypad, if you feel that the keyboard is too thick or hard to press, it might turn out to be a fake keypad installed.

•  Use the machine in the Public View: the machine present under the surveillance of camera monitoring or in the public view are less vulnerable to tampering, so always try to use such machines. The ATMs present inside the banks are best to use.

•  Checking bank statements regularly: regularly monitoring the bank account will make customers aware of irregular changes occurring in their accounts.

•  Identifying the card skimmer present in the ATM or card reader is done using a skim scan. Skim scan saves a significant amount of time opening and searching for the Skimmers in ATMs and other devices. The Sliding and pulling back of the Skim Scan will help to determine even the tiniest card skimmer present inside the system or device.

•  The regular updating of software and frequent check of hardware of the ATM and card reader can help in addressing the security flaws. It is highly recommended for preventing malware from entering the system.

•  Sharing, writing down or taking the help of the others while using the ATM PIN can result in the card skimming of the credit or debit cards. The victim of card skimming should contact their bank or credit card issuer immediately.

Even the chip card users are also the victims of card skimmers, these deep-insert skimmers found inside the ATM or card readers, allows them to read the data on the ATM card. The cloning of the chip cards is not possible since it generates unique code every time in use for the transaction. But criminals use the magnetic stripes present in the back of the ATM card to perform the card skimming. Without visiting the ATM, criminals collect the data with the help of card skimmers that allow the wireless transmission of the data.

To protect your ATM network from card skimming and other fraudulent activities, the banking security experts at Netsentries have developed a series of hands-on vulnerability assessments that look at the entire ATM environment. We can identify software, hardware, and communication protocol vulnerabilities that can be exploited and provide remediation measures to effectively resolve them.

Please visit our website to know more about our ATM Security Assessment Services.

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