The Fairfield Police Department is warning residents of a new card skimming scam through the use of a pinhole camera on an ATM.
The incident occurred recently where a patrol officer was flagged down by a citizen. The citizen attempted to use an outdoor walk-up ATM, and noticed a suspicious mirror with wires attached to the machine.
Police say after an investigation, it was determined the mirror was a skimming device disguised as the ATM’s rearview safety mirror. The mirror masked a pinhole camera designed to record bank transactions, card numbers, and customer PIN codes.
Criminals use “skimming” to steal debit card information which makes it easy to access your money.
Skimming uses a device—the “skimmer”—to capture card data at an ATM. Common locations for skimmers include gas stations and convenience store ATMs, although credit union and bank ATMs are also subject to skimming attacks.
Criminals need two things to make ATM skimming work: the data from your card’s magnetic strip and your PIN. To capture your data, the skimming device is usually placed where you insert your card. To get your PIN, a tiny camera is hidden nearby, often cleverly concealed to look like part of the ATM.
Think Through Your Transaction:
Whenever you enter a debit card PIN, assume there is someone looking. Maybe it’s over your shoulder or through a hidden camera. Even if the ATM or payment machine seems otherwise fine, cover your hand as you enter your PIN. Obtaining the PIN is essential. Without it, criminals are limited in what they can do with stolen data.
Criminals frequently install skimmers on ATMs that aren’t located in overly busy locations since they don’t want to be observed installing malicious hardware or collecting the harvested data (although there are always exceptions). Indoor ATMs are generally safer to use than outdoor ones, since criminals can access outdoor machines unseen. Stop and consider the safety of the ATM before you use it.
Information released by Fairfield Police, for more images, click here.