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DUBUQUE, Iowa—Dupaco Community Credit Union discovered and removed an ATM card skimmer device from a drive-up automated teller machine (ATM) at its Key West branch early Monday morning.
How ATM card skimmers work
A skimming device is a piece of equipment fraudsters attach over card readers at ATMs or self-service payment kiosks to illegally capture card information.
Dupaco staff spotted the fraudulent device during the credit union’s daily ATM service protocols, according to Todd Link, Dupaco senior vice president of risk management and remote delivery. Law enforcement officers are inspecting records and camera footage.
In a follow-up inspection with an extensive review of surveillance footage, the credit union also believes an ATM card skimmer might have periodically been attached to its Hillcrest Road drive-up ATM in Dubuque on the morning of Dec. 9 and removed in the afternoon. By using these tactics, fraudsters can place and quickly remove skimmers before they’re detected during inspections.
Dupaco will notify all of its members who used the machines during the suspected time period and re-issue their debit/ATM cards. Meanwhile, ATM transaction processer Shazam will notify financial institutions of non-members who used the ATM.
Cardholders might not know their information has been stolen until they get a bank statement or an overdraft notice.
What you can do
Monitor your accounts and sign up for Dupaco’s electronic ATM activity text notification via Shine Online Banking. The service notifies you any time money is withdrawn from your account via ATM.
Dupaco continuously inspects its branch ATMs. But fraudsters can install and remove a skimming device within a short period of time. As a result, it’s good practice to be cautious when using any ATM or self-service payment kiosk, like gas pumps.
“When one skimmer is found in a community, there’s a good chance there may be more popping up,” Link said.
ATM card skimmers are sometimes easy to detect, while others are fairly sophisticated.
“Before you insert a card into any ATM or self-service payment kiosk, look at the plastic surrounding the card reader,” Link said. “It should look permanent and professional. All pieces should be securely affixed to the machine and not loose or flimsy.”
In some situations, an extra camera is affixed to the machine.
“It’s always good to shield the keypad as you input your personal identification number (PIN),” Link said. “There should never be a camera pointed toward the keypad. If you see anything suspicious, whether it’s at a financial institution or a retail store, reach out to the manager. If they are closed, call local law enforcement officials immediately.”