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Tips For Detecting ATM Skimming Devices

Winnetka Police are offering some ways to keep your information safe at the ATM, in light of recent area crimes.

With reports this week of about , Winnetka Police have a few suggestions for safety and security at the ATM.

To preface, photos of the actual device found on the ATM at Harris Bank in Hubbard Woods cannot be released because they are considered evidence, said Sgt. Marc Hornstein. Additionally, police will not release a description of the device in order to prevent further skimming incidents.

Meanwhile common skimming devices to look out for include tiny holes on the machines where offenders have installed mini-wireless video cameras, keypad overlays and a card reader that juts out from the machine. That protrusion could be an attachment that "skims" the card information before the machine actually reads it while not disrupting the transaction, Hornstein said.

Visiting the same ATM and taking note of any changes in appearance on the machine helps. When a worn keypad is suddenly replaced by a new one that "feels spongy," that could be a sign of a skimming device, Hornstein said. Also, if you notice the card reader sticking out more than usual, gently tug on it to make sure it's part of the machine.

"Simply by making sure that the card reader isn't manipulated would help reduce your chances of becoming the victim of a skimming device," Hornstein said.

While photos of different kinds of skimming devices are available online, Hornstein also recommended using this PDF document to protect personal information at ATMs.

Kurt June 02, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Don't they have cameras at ATM's? Can't people monitor machines to watch if someone is installing these skiming devices?

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