Skimming continues to be a problem for ATM machines and law enforcement continues to try to combat the problem. Skimming devices are attached to credit and debit card and ATM machines in order to intercept debit and credit card information and PIN numbers as they are being entered by an individual. The skimmers then re-encode the information on fake debit and credit cards, use the cards to purchase items and defraud the unsuspecting victims.
The U.S. Attorney in Rhode Island recently announced that a skimmer admitted that he conspired to attach skimming devices on ATM machines in Rhode Island and Connecticut and plead guilty to charges that he was involved in a skimming scam where 1,392 individuals’ debit cards were compromised between January 1, 2015, and April 4, 2015. The skimming scheme resulted in a loss of $709,598. The skimmer will be sentenced on July 20, 2016.
To protect yourself from skimming devices, whenever you pay with a credit or debit card, grab the top of the payment machine and jiggle it to make sure it doesn’t come off. If it does, it is probably a skimmer, and you should alert the store or bank. If it doesn’t, it should be safe to use.