Beware of these card skimming devices at ATMs

The South African Banking Information Centre (Sabric) recently warned citizens to be vigilant when using their cards at ATMs so as to avoid card skimming.

Sabric has identified card skimming as an enormous contributor to card fraud in South Africa.

“Cards can be skimmed at ATMs or at points of sale. Sabric wants to emphasise the importance of never accepting any assistance from anybody at the ATM and also of shielding the keypad with your free hand when inserting the pin,” the organisation said.

Card skimming devices are used to copy card information on the magnetic strip when a customer inserts the card at the ATM.

These devices typically sit on top of the ATM card slot, and are designed to ensure that they blend in with the ‘look and feel’ of ATMs, making them hard to detect.

The following images, provided by Anti Skimming Eye, illustrate how card skimming typically works.

ATM card skimming (image from ASE)
ATM card skimming (image from ASE)
ATM card skimming installation
ATM card skimming installation
ATM card skimmer installed
ATM card skimmer installed

New card skimming devices attached to ATMs

Consumers are often advised to check the ATM to see if anything looks unusual or suspicious, and whether it has been tampered with. However, this is becoming more difficult.

Krebs on Security reported that ATM card skimming devices are getting smaller and thinner, and have better battery life.

These “miniaturised fraud devices” fit inside the card reader slot, making them far harder to detect.

Very thin ATM skimmers
Very thin ATM skimmers

Other ATM card skimming devices

Sabric provided a sample of some of the most common card skimming devices that are attached to ATMs in South Africa.

ATM mounted skimming device
ATM mounted skimming device
ATM mounted skimming device
ATM mounted skimming device
ATM mounted skimming device
ATM mounted skimming device
ATM mounted camera
ATM mounted camera
ATM mounted camera
ATM mounted camera

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Beware of these card skimming devices at ATMs