Why ATM Skimmers Should Remind You To Think Of Computer Security When You Are Offline Too

When most people think about security, they are not usually thinking about gadgets that are outside in the public view.

They are usually thinking about the person that looks shady in the bushes that might mug them.

Or, as of recently, they might relate security to mean the online version.

Some may perceive security to mean stopping black hat hackers and viruses that might harm their computer.

Computers Are Everywhere

But now since everything is run by computers, there is more of a need now to pay attention to the devices that you use in your normal everyday routines.

You never know what is out there that can harm you.

It could be the card scanner at the grocery store, or the gas station pump in town.

If the device has the ability to read your credit card, you have to make sure that you take a good look at it before you place your card in.

People are going to even greater lengths than before to be able to steal the data off of your credit and debit cards.

One of the main culprits that have been gaining momentum in recent years, is the use of an ATM skimmer device.

You might be asking yourself right about now, “what in the world is an ATM skimmer?”.

These are devices that the bad guys use to steal the data from your debit or credit card when you place it in a machine.

The first thing that they do is to replace the front end of the machine with a new device.

This device allows your card to pass through to the real ATM machine, but before it does, it reads the information off of the card.

At the same time that it is doing that, someone has set up a camera to watch you as you type in your pin number.

Now once they have your data and the pin number, they can use your card whenever they want to.

All they have to do is to spoof it.

Offline Computer Scams Are A Growth Area

You would rarely see these types of scams a couple of years ago.

Now they are showing up in the news more and more.

So when you use one of these devices, make sure that you pay close attention to where you are putting your card.

If anything looks odd about the machine that you are using, do not hesitate to report it to someone.

And you have to remember that ATMs are not the only machines they are using to pull these types of scams.

Basically, anything that takes your credit card information can cause you to fall victim to one of these types of scams.

So be careful wherever you put your card, not just an ATM.

ATM skimmers are becoming the new “it” scam.

Make sure you are aware when you are using your card so you do not become the next victim.

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.


  1. […] of the credit card right at the source. And we say right at the source what we mean is that they get the credit card number straight from the ATM machine that you use. And they do that by placing a little scanner on the machine that is not noticeable to […]

  2. […] can be used in atm’s and casino machines as […]

  3. […] It is no longer just devices that we look at as computers that we have to worry about. […]

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