Would You Have Used This ATM Without Noticing Scam That Would Have Your Money Stolen?

Updated September 7, 2017

There are too many scams to keep track of, from identity theft to straight up fleecing people of their money. But did you know about this ATM scam?

Who would have guessed that an average looking ATM actually could have unnoticeable devices that steals a user’s card and PIN?

A Houston Imgur user posted more about the devices to warn others, noting that a seemingly benign ATM includes what’s known as a skimmer, installed by someone who can gain access to your accounts and steal your money.

At the top of the machine is a small gray block, which at first glance, looks like it’s part of the machine. Inside of it is a small camera that points towards the ATM’s keypad.

Upon noticing this, the Imgur user jiggled the card reader, finding that one had been placed over the machine’s “official” reader.

Pulling the card reader piece off, the user shared a photo of what’s behind it: technology to read the card strip and save the data.

The Imgur poster asked for permission to pull these pieces off to take photos and warn others. The pinhole camera includes a microSD card to save the video of people typing in their PINs.

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Using the information gathered from the skimmer, the thieves can make a clone of your card and use it with the PIN information they’ve recorded at the ATM.

NYPD Crime Prevention Division Inspector Thomas Conforti told CBS2 how they’ve seen an increase in this scam in New York City: “The amount of incidents being reported has dramatically increased, and it’s throughout the five boroughs.”

He added, “I would be very skeptical of using any machines when either one of multiple machines in a vestibule are coming up with error messages.”

Police in NYC have been inspecting ATMs, with Conforti explaining, “There are some techniques we can’t get into here, but we make our presence known at these locations. We’ll leave it at that.”

For your protection, you should always wiggle the card reader to see if it’s legit and cover the pin pad to protect yourself further. Cornorti noted that they’ve seen these scam devices in high traffic tourist areas such as Times Square.

One commenter weighing in on the YouTube video about the scam summed it up perfectly, writing: “why are some people so shitty? Is it really that bad, working for a living like the rest of us? You have to rip people off, steal their hard-earned money like that’s no big deal? WTF is wrong with thieves? Dead souls, hellbound.”

Others debated if a store owner had installed the skimmer, with one noting: “Probably the store clerk themselves. 7/11’s have cameras all over them so for that to go un noticed…Not happening.”

Another person tried to break it down, writing: “Just take some time to imagine the whole process. Is it all that suspicious for a person to use an ATM machine in a shop? Of course the shop keeper wouldn’t keep an eye on him. He wouldn’t even be able to see what kind of tinkering the user is doing with the machine, not even if he wanted to. The whole thing would look like someone getting some cash, nothing suspicious.”