How to Detect ATM Skimming

ATM skimming is the theft of card information. It occurs during legitimate transactions from ATMs.

How ATM Skimming Works

To steal your information, thieves install electronic devices called skimmers over the normal card reading slot of ATM machines. These skimmers record the data from the magnetic strip on the back of your card.

A tiny camera is often hidden near a skimmer to record your PIN as it is entered.

The thieves then use all of the information they have gathered to manufacture counterfeit cards, make purchases and withdraw funds from your accounts.

Skimming devices come in many forms and can be hard to detect. The image below illustrates how a skimming device and hidden camera can be installed on an ATM. (Actual devices may vary from this example.)

Where to Look for Signs of ATM Skimming


Protect Yourself

  • Use secure ATM machines under video surveillance or inside of a bank lobby. They're less likely to be tampered with.
  • Pay careful attention to what the card reader and keypad normally look like on the ATMs you use most frequently.
  • Don't use an ATM if the card reader appears to be added on, fits poorly, or is loose. Some thieves place a fake box over the card slot that reads and records account and PIN numbers.
  • Call the customer service number on the ATM immediately if a machine appears suspicious or if it does not function properly.

If You Have Been a Victim of ATM Skimming

If you think you have used an ATM with a skimmer attached and believe it has compromised your personal information contact the BB&T number posted on the machine as well as local law enforcement.

How Does BB&T Protect You from ATM Skimming?

BB&T employs a number of methods to protect your identity. Learn how we place the highest priority on the security of your information.

Contact Us

Call 800-BANK-BBT