Learn to spot the signs of ATM skimming.

ATMs are great for grabbing a few quick bucks whenever you need them. But ATM fraud is real risk. You can learn to spot the signs to prevent it.

What is ATM skimming?

ATM skimming occurs when a "skimmer", is attached to an ATM or point of sale terminal to steal the card information of the machine’s users. The stolen information is used to create counterfeit credit or debit cards to make fraudulent purchases and withdrawals from users’ accounts.

ATM skimmers have two parts. The first is an electronic device that fits over the card slot. When a card is swiped or pushed into the slot, the data on the card’s magnetic strip is copied. The second component is typically a hidden camera used to capture your PIN.

How to Protect Yourself

Use familiar ATMs: ATMs located in dimly-lit areas or are frequently used late at night could be more likely to have skimmers. Try to use an ATM at an indoor location under video surveillance.

Examine the ATM: Take a quick look at the ATM before you use it to see if anything looks out of place. Check to see if anything looks loose or damaged. You should also check for scratching around the card slot, and adhesive, tape or glue residue.

Check the card reader and keypad: If anything seems out of place or poorly attached to the ATM, gently tug on it. If it moves or comes away from the ATM, it might be a skimming device. Don’t worry, you won’t break our ATM!

Look for hidden cameras: We know it sounds like a spy movie, but it’s real! Look for small holes above the ATM screen or keypad that may contain a pinhole camera to capture your PIN.

Protect your PIN: Shield your PIN with your hand when you type it onto the keypad. In the event you do encounter an ATM skimmer without realizing it, this can protect your PIN from hidden camera.

Monitor your accounts: Check your accounts frequently. If you notice any suspicious transactions, notify us as quickly as possible.

Purdue Federal Credit Union serves members worldwide and operates branches throughout Greater Lafayette, Crown Point and La Porte, Indiana.