What Is ATM Skimming?
ATM skimming is a type of fraud that occurs when an ATM is compromised by a physical skimming device, such as a fraudulent card-reading device disguised to look like a legitimate part of the ATM machine. The purpose of ATM skimming is to steal card details, including card number and PIN data, from ATM users to create a counterfeit card.
How It Works
In this scam, an unauthorized card-reading device is mounted on top of, or inserted into, the ATM card entry slot. The device captures your card information from the magnetic strip on your card. Hidden cameras or fake keypads record your PIN. Cameras may be hidden by false banners or stickers designed to look real. Thieves then combine your card number and PIN to manufacture counterfeit cards to make fraudulent purchases or withdraw funds from your account.
Signs of ATM Skimming
ATM card-reading devices may come in a number of shapes and forms, but typically consist of two or three common components:
- A device that fits over the real card insertion slot
- A discreet or hidden camera with a view of the PIN keyboard that may be concealed by housing
- A mock keypad that fits over and/or on top of the real keypad
The skimmers are often affixed to exterior and drive-up ATMs after normal business hours and during the weekend—especially long holiday weekends. They are often loosely secured with two-sided tape to be quickly applied and removed from the ATM.
Warning signs to look for include:
- An extra device attached to or inserted in the card reader
- An extra layer over the keypad buttons
- The device is loose when touched or a slightly different color than the rest of the ATM
- A new camera or small housing with a hidden camera on the ATM that has an unobstructed view of the PIN keypad
- An unusual new device mounted near or on the ATM
- Visible damage, glue or tape residue on the ATM
- Exposed wires coming out of the ATM
- New banners or stickers you have never noticed at the ATM
BB&T uses sophisticated layers of fraud tools to monitor accounts and takes every appropriate action to protect our clients from fraud. If you identify a skimming device on a BB&T ATM, please refrain from tampering with or removing the device. Immediately contact local law enforcement and alert the closest BB&T branch or contact us at 800-BANK-BBT (800-226-5228).