Survey finds ATM crime surged in 2017

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The ATM Industry Association recently published the results of its 2017 Global Fraud and Security Survey. More than half of respondents (54 percent) reported an increase in ATM related crime, a 12 percent increase from the previous year’s survey.

The survey looked at trends in ATM card skimming, PIN compromise, and other network and remote network card data compromise methods. Industry practitioners aim “to start 2018 with an attitude of vigilance” to combat the variety of technologies and tools now available to scammers.

BBB serving the Heart of Texas offers consumers the following advice to protect themselves from ATM skimmers:

Inspect the Credit Card Reader. Look carefully at the card reader before swiping your card. Make sure the reader doesn’t show signs of tampering. Look for new or suspiciously placed cameras and unusual signage. If something appears out of the ordinary, pay with cash or move to card reader, if possible.

Protect your PIN. When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand to protect your private PIN from any cameras in the vicinity. Try to use a credit card, but if you must use a debit card, run it as credit instead of entering a PIN.

Monitor your statements. Even the most careful person can still fall victim to skimmers, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your accounts. Look for suspicious charges and particularly the itemized breakdown of charges and debits. Report any fraudulent activity to your financial institution as soon as you discover it.

If you are a victim of an ATM skimming scam, contact your local authorities and file a report with Better Business Bureau at bbb.org/scamtracker.

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