Ways to Protect Your Financial Institution from ATM Skimming

Credit or Debit Cards containing a chip for security lying on top of each other

ATM skimming remains a concern for financial institutions. Knowing what to look for can protect ATM machines from fraud, as well as increased security monitors.

ATM Skimming is akin to identity theft and the victims of this crime are usually not even aware they are being robbed. Skimming data from clients at an ATM machine is one of the principal crimes which occur at financial institutions. Skimming ATMs can be one of the first steps criminals take prior to hacking and larger types of attacks on banks and credit unions. Financial institutes deal with measure to prevent criminal activity on a daily basis. In order to counteract criminal activity, banks and credit unions must work to ensure that their security, monitoring systems and machines are updated with the current technology to protect customers at the ATM machines.

ATM Skimming as a Risk for Financial Institutions

One of the most difficult crimes to protect against at a financial institution is ATM Skimming. ATM skimming is a crime where a device is placed upon the face of an ATM machine which extracts the user’s card number and pin code. This could be in the form of an undetected card reader disguised to appear to be a part of the ATM machine. In conjunction with this skimming device, often a small camera is hidden close-by which helps the criminal to steal the user’s pin number. Another form of ATM skimming occurs when a false keypad is attached to capture information. These keypads fit perfectly over existing ATM keypads. These devices can be purchased on the black web, and sadly ATM fraud is increasingly common. It has been reported that over $2 billion globally has been stolen per recent years. As credit and debit card chips have become common, the devices that are being used to steal the information are becoming harder to locate on the ATM, as they are placed deep inside the ATMs, and are continually smaller in size. While the introduction of chips has helped reduce some of these fraudulent transactions from consumer purchases in stores and restaurants, the ATM remains the continued target.

Banks and Credit Unions Need to Take Extra Security Measures

Companies, such as Diebold Nixdorf and NCR, are increasingly applying technological updates to their products in order to protect against ATM theft. Such companies releasing machines that takes the credit or debit card in different directions in order to protect against the use of a skimming device. Many of these changes to the ATM machines are resulting in complete defeating of all ATM skimming devices. Just last year, the FBI sent confidential alerts to banks warning that a barrage of ATM theft is likely to increase. Banks and Credit Unions are becoming increasingly aware of detecting fraudulent activity and have been delaying the processing of suspect charges until the customer verifies the transaction. Branch managers have to lead the shift to introducing safer measures for consumers to use ATMs. Newer ATMs are available, with technological advances that can prevent skimming. Branch managers can also work to establish practices to check for ATM machine discrepancies within and around the ATM bezel (the portion of the ATM which contains the card slot and the area around the card slot), ensuring that the area around the ATM is well-lit with updated security cameras that monitor the ATM at all times. These security cameras must be positioned carefully in order to clearly detect fraudulent activity in and around the ATM. It is imperative that branch managers also do their best to educate employees and consumers how to protect themselves from fraud.

Protecting ATMs in Southeast Regional Banks and Credit Unions Against Skimming

At Ellsworth Systems, LLC, in Nashville, Tennessee, we are experienced veterans driven to consistently manage, promote, and educate financial institutions with up-to-date technology, security, and solutions. We partner with your bank or credit union to provide innovative, quality products, installations, and project design and management that best meet your financial institution and clientele. We are available via phone at 1-800-426-2067 or 615-778-9100 or via our website.