Tips Can Help You Spot a Skimmer


Reports indicate that another skimmer has been found at a local ATM, and we’re urging members to review ways to protect themselves.

Skimmers are small devices that can steal your credit card data from the magnetic stripe, according to Brad Sims, Family Trust’s fraud specialist. Skimmers are usually placed on ATMs and at gas pumps.

At an ATM, the most common skimmer is a placed over an existing card reader and a camera is used to capture the PIN as it is typed in. Weekends and holidays are critical times to check for skimmers since machines can go days without detection.

“Make it a habit to pull on any card reader before inserting your card,” Brad said. “The skimmer is not permanently secured because the fraudster needs to be able to remove the device to get the information.”

Here’s what to do:

  • Pull on the card reader
  • Look for a camera under the canopy
  • Pull on existing trim pieces
  • Check for anything attached to the existing card reader
  • Check the cash dispenser and key pad for anything out of place
  • Cover the keypad with your opposite hand when entering your PIN

“If anything looks out of the ordinary, do not use the ATM,” Brad said. “Report your suspicions to the financial institution. If you happen to find a skimmer, contact law enforcement and minimize contact as it may contain valuable forensic evidence.”

In the meantime, if you believe you used a compromised ATM, consider using card controls through mobile banking. You can disable a card and restore it with the swipe of a button.

In addition, use online and mobile banking to frequently check accounts for fraudulent activity. Call 803-367-4100 or visit a branch; our representatives will complete the dispute form and order a new card for you.

Learn more about fraud:

Photos courtesy of Stickley on Security