Bank Robbery of the Future: ATM Skimming

Physically taking an ATM isn’t the only way to get money out of them. Though it makes for great television, stealing an ATM isn’t easy and culprits are often times caught before they can even get the thing opened. So how are people stealing from them? One word: skimming.

With over 1.7 million ATM locations worldwide, everyone uses ATMs. At 40 billion cash withdrawals every year, individuals can get cash quickly without having to even talk to a living person (who has time for that?) There is a price for this convenience however, as any of these transactions are vulnerable to skimming. With just a small hidden camera and a basic card scanner, clever thieves can capitalize on your transaction and take money straight from your account in the form of cold, hard, untraceable cash.

It’s not always easy to spot an unsafe ATM, but it is if you know what to look for. Since card skimmers aren't part of the original ATM design, they are usually just pieces of plastic held on with double-sided tape. Be on the look out for anything that looks scratched, loose, or out of place; this could be a sign that it’s an old ATM or that it has been tampered with in some way.

Take a look at this infographic for more on what ATM skimming could mean to you and your bank account.

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