Fraudsters have been busy “skimming” ATMs since at least the last holiday season, as fraudsters have sought to take advantage of magstripe readers before adoption of more-secure EMV chip card-compatible ATMs becomes widespread.
Skimming refers to fraudsters using a device to steal credit or debit card information in an otherwise legitimate card transaction. Skimming devices are often placed on ATMs. When a card is run through a skimmer, the device stores the information. Thieves then use the stolen data to make fraudulent charges either online or with a counterfeit credit card.
The ATM fraud resulting from these skimming incidents is often local to the cardholder’s residence and is known as “footprint fraud.” As fraud is perpetrated where a cardholder might normally frequent, illegitimate transactions become harder to detect.
For example, a case study prepared by CO-OP Financial Services reported on a card skimming scam discovered by Elevations Credit Union in Boulder, Colorado. In this case, all of the skimming took place at the same local supermarket. A few days later, the thieves used the information skimmed from the store’s self-checkout units to steal money with fraudulent cards from ATMs within the same several block area in nearby Denver.continue reading »