ATM transaction

Deep-insert skimmers: 3 precautions to take at the ATM.

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You’ve probably already heard about (but hopefully not encountered) the dangers of card skimmers. Mounted onto gas-station payment terminals or placed over card slots on ATM machines, these devices scan the card you insert, possibly intercepting your payment information and other personal data.

One of the newest and potentially most dangerous kinds of skimmers, recently identified by ATM-maker NCR Corp., is what’s called a deep-insert skimmer. These are tiny devices inserted in ATM card slots. What makes them different from other kinds of skimmers is they’re placed in such a way that they’re usually not even visible to the person inserting their card. NCR, for one, is reported to be working on a software update to help detect these skimmers.

In the meantime, here are 3 sensible precautions to take:

1. Try to visit ATMs in publicly-visible locations.
Though deep-insert skimmers may be difficult to detect, it may be harder for criminals to install such devices in well-lit, frequently-trafficked ATMs than it might be for more-remotely-located ATMs.

2. Regularly check your bank statements.
Opening those email PDFs, logging into your bank site or opening those letters may seem boring and a waste of time, but especially as skimming technology becomes harder to detect on the front end, it pays to double check on the back end.

3. Get credit monitoring.
If someone steals your ATM-card information, they may try to use it to open up a line of credit at that bank or apply for a card in your name.

With TransUnion Credit Monitoring, you get:

  • Email Alerts sent whenever there’s a critical change noted on or TransUnion, Experian or Equifax credit reports. This includes new-account information.
  • 1-Touch Credit Lock — it takes just seconds to lock your TransUnion credit report. What does “locked” mean? If someone tries to apply for credit in your name, and the credit check tries to request your TransUnion report, access will be denied.
  • 24/7 Access with our FREE app. Refresh your TransUnion account information — score, report, alerts and more — anywhere you have a web connection.
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