Best practices for preventing “card trapping”

Card trapping is a malicious tactic to steal an ATM user’s card and in the end their money. Generally, this is done by using a device on or inside of a card reader or the ATM’s fascia to block the card from being removed after a transaction.

In addition to illicitly obtaining the customer’s card, attackers take steps to obtain the PIN. This can be done with a pin-hole spy camera near the keypad, a camera placed somewhere around the ATM, which is pointed at the keypad, or by using another “customer” who appears to be waiting in line but will look over the shoulder of the customer during the PIN entry process.

To protect customers from this type of attack, ATM USA recommends the following:

  • Inspect the ATM daily for small holes, overlays, unusual marks and tampering with the fascia and card reader.


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