ATM Skimmers Get Wafer Thin

It’s getting harder to detect some of the newer ATM skimmers, fraud devices attached to or inserted into cash machines and designed to steal card and PIN data. Among the latest and most difficult-to-spot skimmer innovations is a wafer-thin card reading device that can be inserted directly into the ATM’s card acceptance slot.

That’s according to two recent reports from the European ATM Security Team (EAST), an organization that collects ATM fraud reports from countries in the region. In both reports, EAST said one country (it isn’t naming which) alerted them about a new form of skimming device that is thin enough to be inserted directly into the card reader slot. These devices record the data stored on the magnetic stripe on the back of the card as it is slid into a compromised ATM.

Wafer-thin skimmers like these are showing up in ATMs in one European nation. Images courtesy EAST.

Another EAST report released this week indicates that these insert skimmers are continuing to evolve. Below are two more such devices. Insert skimmers require some secondary component to record customers entering their PINs, such as a PIN pad overlay or hidden camera.

Both of these insert skimmers were designed to be shoved directly into the throat of the card acceptance slot. Credit: EAST.

If you notice something strange about an ATM, don’t use it, and alert the institution responsible for the machine. And if you’re calm and cool enough to remember to snap a picture of the potentially compromised ATM, please send it my way!

This piece is part of an ongoing series about innovations in ATM skimming devices. If you liked this entry, check out the archive  — All About Skimmers.

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