Sunday, October 12, 2008

If you EVER use an ATM, read this!

An IBM security expert recently posted this tutorial on ATM skimmers on IBM's internal blog site. I had no idea that this kind of hi-tech theft was even happening, let along that it's quite common. Here's a picture from the presentation:

You should really download and read the presentation (it's short), but here are some key recommendations:

When using an ATM:

  • Cover the keypad while you enter the number.
  • Don't give the PIN number out to anyone.
  • If you do not feel safe, refrain from using the bank machine.
  • Know where the security cameras are located. While many ATMs have cameras, they won't be positioned to record the keypad.
  • Be wary of any offers of 'help' with your ATM transaction.
  • If you feel you are being watched, ask the person to step back.
  • Conduct ATM transactions during the day. Most ATM crime occurs in the evening.
  • Be suspicious of a machine that has signage indicating you should use a specific machine.
  • Use a different machine if you feel uncomfortable about the ATM instructions.
  • Be on the lookout for fraudulent withdrawals on your monthly statement.
  • Report anything that seems suspicious or strange about the ATM machine to your financial institution. This could include anyone who offers to help you, tries to look over your shoulder, or is taking pictures in the area.
  • Call your bank right away if your card is held by the machine.
BTW, this tutorial tickles one of my pet peeves: redundancy in acronym usage.
  • ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine, so "ATM Machine" is redundant.
  • Likewise with PIN: Personal Identification Number. "Enter your PIN number" is redundant redundant.

1 comment:

  1. Your pet peeve has a rather appropriate name: AER Redundancy. That's Acronym Expansion Redundancy Redundancy!