ATM-based identity theft

I usually write about bigger themes, but FYI, an identity theft method popular for years in east Asia has recently hit US shores.  

It’s very clever.  Gangsters affix their own card reader over the card slot on your bank’s ATM machine.  When you insert your card, it passes through the gang’s reader and into the ATM.  You make your withdrawal as usual, and your card comes back.  Unbeknownst to you, the gang’s reader now has your card number, so they can create a duplicate of your ATM card.

But they still need your PIN, right?  Right.  That’s why they have a video camera installed across the street, with a telephoto lens aimed at the keypad.  They simply watch you type in your PIN.  Now they have a duplicate ATM card and your PIN.  Cha-ching.

This scam has been spotted recently in Orange County, California.  Fruits of globalization, I guess.  If you see something like it, do us all a favor and call the police.  Since the scam requires so much equipment, police have an excellent chance of catching the bad guys if they know where the equipment is.

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