ATM skimming devices are nothing new. The most common of them are found attached to point of sale or POS terminal or an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). They steal information from the consumer as he or she enters personal data. At one time, technology used was crude. Tactics at that time used hanging up the common “Out of order” sign on almost all ATMs except one. That sole machine would be compromised by the criminals. Data would be collected for a few days and the device would be moved to other place to repeat the operation. This criminal system involved cameras to be mounted near the machine. It will record the keystrokes which consumers enter their PIN or Personal Identification Numbers.
New criminal tech
The technological race between security and criminals has yielded a number of new technologies- some of them good enough to criminally extract money. One particular worrying development is a device being installed within the machine. This makes it undetectable if the machine is not opened. The problem is that such devices are now becoming quite common, reaping billions of cash for criminals in the United States every year.
Criminals have not spared Missisippi state as well. A number of skimming devices were located inside ATMs. Gas pumps are found to be infiltrated by criminals. Jim Hood, the Missisippi Attorney General, has issued a news release in first week of October to warn state residents of this danger. According to Hood, such devices could remain undetected for a number of weeks and gather sensitive account information. He advised that consumers must contact their respective financial institutions in case they observe any kind of unauthorized activity related to their accounts. They should also watch closely for any signs of tampering when they extract money from ATMs or use gas pumps. He assured residents of the state that the government is partnering with law enforcement agencies to clamp down on this kind of crime.
Measures to take
Attorney General Hood has suggested a few measures to avoid being scammed. These include using pumps nearer to the convenience store or service station as criminals tend to target pumps which are furthest from security. If possible, do not pay at the pump. Go into the store and pay money to the attendant directly. In case you use a debit card, select “Credit” as you can avoid any possibility of criminals getting your PIN.