The 100m Scam

Bank cards skimmed via wireless technology

An interesting news story I just came across address an old scam, perpetrated in a new way.

Credit card skimming, actioned by attaching a device to an ATM, is nothing new.

However, techno-criminals have discovered a way to utilise wireless technology in order to skim a personal identification number (PIN) from a bank card whilst it is being used at an ATM, all whilst sitting up to 100m away.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay, of Queensland police, said that the new technology also meant skimmers no longer needed to install spy cameras on ATMs in order to spy on customers as they entered their PINs.

‘All the card data is transmitted to their laptops while they’re having a cup of coffee up to 100m away,” he said. “They design the keypad overlays for specific types of ATMs so it makes them very difficult to detect.’

Police report that the technology may be found on black market websites.

Does this new technological development concern you?

I know that I, for one, am very careful to shield my PIN number at the ATM, but how exactly can you avoid this ruse?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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