Denver officer finds credit card skimmer on convenience store ATM
DENVER — An officer found a credit card skimmer attached to an ATM machine inside a convenience store earlier this week, the Denver Police Department said.
The skimmer was found in the 3400 block of West Colfax Avenue.
The officer saw a loose scanner on the machine. After giving it a light pull, it was revealed a second scanner was attached to the machine, police said.
Criminals use skimmers to create cloned cards or hack into bank accounts to steal money.
The following tips about how to spot a skimmer and avoid becoming a skimmer come from police.
- Check for tampering: Examine any ATM or gas pump before you insert your card. If something appears off or inconsistent with the rest of the machine (color or materials used), don’t use the ATM. Also, give the keyboard a look-see. If it feels thick, like a protector was placed over it, it may have a pin-snatching overlay.
- Push and pull at everything: ATMs and gas pumps are solid machines and nothing on the machine should jiggle or be loose. Push and pull at the protruding parts, like the card reader and the keyboard. Also, when you insert you card into the reader, wiggle it. This will foil the attempts of the skimmer to grab the data from the card.
- Be aware of your surroundings: When entering your PIN, cover the keypad to prevent someone from nabbing the digits over your shoulder. Also, frequent busy ATMs and grocery stores. Outdoor ATMs and less-frequented stores are more likely to have machines that have been tampered with, because they are more accessible to thieves.
- Use near field communication (NFC) transactions: NFC transactions, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay, tokenize credit card information, protecting personal information.
- Use fraud detection services: Most banks and credit cards will reach out to customers should they notice something suspicious on your account. Pay attention to these alerts. Catching any criminal activity early will help you put a stop to it and recover any lost funds, should you become a victim.