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Recognizing a Hacked ATM

Recognizing a Hacked ATM

Fake card readers are a problem with automatic banking machines around the world. They will record your personal information from your credit or debit card and obtain your PIN number, allowing the 'thief' to run away with all your money. It is a tactic that is difficult to notice.

The fake reader has to be small enough to fit over the existing reader and look similar to the rest of the machine. They look so harmless and cohesive that you would never suspect that your bank account is being compromised.

Some Key Features Worth Investigating Before You Use An ATM For Banking

This may seem obvious, but if you are visiting an area that is known for hacked machines, go somewhere else! I used to live in one such area and it would happen weekly that someone would have their bank account wiped, which would be followed by news stories of police disassembling the hacked bank machine. Visit a teller if you suspect or have heard about problems.

Take note of the card reader slot

If it looks bigger, or is protruding further than looks normal, it could be hacked. Try moving it gently (you don't want to break it) by rocking it back and forth. If it seems flimsy or wobbly, it may be a hacked card reader.

If there are several bank machines in one area, compare and contrast. How does the one you want to use compare to the one next to it? Of course this only works if the bank machines belong to the same bank. It is common in certain parts of Asia to have a row of bank machines with each from a different bank. This is a prime spot for a hack because no one would expect such trickery to take place in a row of banks.

Check the pin number pad

Many number pads are recessed a few millimeters into the body of the bank machine and a fake can sit comfortably over the existing pin pad. Like the card slot, try jiggling the pad, or notice if it looks different.

In the event you discover a hacked machine, inform the bank or phone the number listed on the machine. Make sure you do this to ensure that someone else does not fall victim to theft.

Always keep a backup credit card outside your wallet in case your debit is stolen. In the event that your debit card has been hacked, you can call your bank and use the back-up credit card as your debit card.

More about: banking, credit, debit, hack, atm

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