More state governments are taking action on ATM skimming, a criminal practice that is responsible for over a billion dollars in ATM fraud losses annually, according to the U.S. Secret Service.
Minnesota is the latest to pass tougher anti-skimming laws — in this case making the possession of a skimming device a felony punishable with up to one year in prison plus fines. Thirty-one states now have laws on the books to combat the growing crime of card skimming.
Again, skimming is a process in which electronic thieves attach wireless readers to ATMs at banks, credit unions and other facilities. When cardholders insert their ATM or credit cards into the unit, their card data is captured and sent to thieves waiting nearby with laptop computers who can download and store the stolen financial information. Mini wireless cameras are placed around the ATM fascia, allowing the thief to capture a cardholder’s PIN. From that point, it’s easy to produce duplicate cards that can be used to defraud credit card accounts or withdraw cash from debit card accounts.
The 19 states that have yet to take action on toughening the laws around ATM security need to do so now. Additional criminal penalties will help. And ATM operators need to be more vigilant in watching over their units and take advantage of available technology that can defeat the skimming process.
Consumers also need to be aware of anything that seems unusual at an ATM and report any concerns immediately to the owner/operator.Leave a comment