POS / ATM Skimming On The Rise

According to an article on the BankInfoSecurity site, security experts say that we will continue to see an increase in skimming in the US in the months ahead, particularly against ATMs.  This trend tends to be mirrored in Canada.  Lingering magnetic-stripe technology is to blame.

The typical ATM skimming attack spans 1 to 2 hours, making catching the crooks extremely difficult, and losses per incident average $30,000, according to ADT Security Solutions.  ADT also estimates these attacks cost financial institutions and their customers 10 times more than robberies.  According to ACI Worldwide’s Card Fraud Guide, overall card fraud continues its rise, up to $2.04 billion in 2007.  Debit card losses rose to $1.05 billion in 2007.

As European nations convert to the EMV chip standard, more and more skimming fraud is expected to come to North America, where mag-stripe cards remain the norm.  To get more information, to read about potential solutions, and to see a timeline of 2010 skimming events, click on the link above to visit the article.

So, how are these guys doing it?  BankInfoSecurity also provides an article outlining the top 4 skimming scams:

  • #1: Hand-Held POS Skimming
  • #2: POS  Swaps
  • #3: ATM and Unattended Self-Service Terminal Skimming
  • #4: Dummy ATMs

 Be very cautious where you use your credit and debit cards this coming holiday season, and remember that your bank offers methods for changing the PIN right at the ATM if you suspect a vendor is skimming or has been compromised, or in the branch if you suspect an ATM has been compromised.  It only takes a second to change that PIN, and it _is_ your money!