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New Data Suggests ATM Skimming is on the Rise

Credit cards close upCredit card fraud using ATM scanners isn’t a new innovation, but it is a type of information theft that’s on the rise, and even professionals are victims.

Steve Manzuik, director of security research at Duo Security, said he’s familiar enough with ATM skimmers — devices that mimic an ATM’s card reader to swipe card data — to say he could probably make one, if he desired.

However, even the 42-year-old security researcher couldn’t escape becoming victim to one. Approximately $600 had been taken out of his account from an ATM in Los Angeles, while he sat at home in Las Vegas.

Manzuik called his bank and had the card cancelled, although it took about a week to have the money returned to him.

FICO reports that there has been a nearly 550% increase nationwide in the number of ATMs compromised by criminals in 2015 compared with 2014. According to FICO, ATM skimming is the most common way that fraudsters acquire card data.

“There are a wide variety of ATM skimming devices, but many involve a card reader that can be affixed on top of the genuine card slot to “skim” card details from the magnetic strip on the back of a card,” The Detroit News reports.

The increase in issuance of chipped cards will contribute to a decrease in ATM skimming fraud, but until then, it would seem that criminals are going to extreme lengths to wring a few more dollars out of skimming while they can.

Two Michigan men took skimming to the next level and created more than 40 false debit and credit cards from the information they obtained.

The men were pulled over by a police officer after running a stop sign but then arrested for fraud when the officer found a drawstring bag full of debit and credit cards in the car, Trib reports.

Many people are under the assumption that retail websites are mostly to blame for identity theft and credit card fraud, but in reality, only 12% of all fraud cases list a website as the initial point of contact.

ATM skimming is a dangerous problem for credit card holders, and until cards abandon the traditional magnetic strip, they will be vulnerable to this kind of attack.

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