With financial data breaches on the rise, most ATM users now know to check for “skimmers” that steal debit card info. However, new photos from the City of London Police reveal some of the sneakiest devices yet. Thieves are now installing pinhole-sized cameras that steal victims’ pin numbers.
The tiny dots are almost invisible, but help fraudsters steal shoppers’ information. Luckily, eagle-eyed citizens caught the devices in two different London locations. Upon further investigation, police pried off pieces of plastic surreptitiously disguised as parts of the machines.
The scam isn’t just overseas, either. Earlier this month, New York investigators found a similar camera in Long Island alongside a card skimmer. In other instances, criminals attach the devices to bank entryways and even gas station pumps. “The amount of incidents being reported has dramatically increased,” NYPD spokesman Thomas Conforti told CBS2.
To protect your info, always check for unusual fixtures before inserting your card. According to the American Bankers Association, “Potential indicators can include sticky residue or evidence of an adhesive used by criminals to affix the device, scratches, damaged or crooked pieces, loose or extra attachments on the card slot or noticeable resistance when pressing the keypad.”
When you’re using an ATM, cover up the pin pad to hide your digits from bystanders and illegal cameras. Some experts also advise avoiding non-bank locations, as most branches conduct video surveillance. Finally, always check your bank statement for unusual activity. According to the New York Times, consumers can regain their money if they report fraud within 60 days.
Please remember to cover your pin when using a cash machine.