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Staying Safe from Skimming

As with phishing, the best defenses against skimming are awareness and caution. Here are some general recommendations:

  • Try to use the same ATM for all your transactions—preferably one located at your financial institution or one that is run by a large financial organization.
  • Use ATM machines inside banks rather than on the street (where they're easier for thieves to access).
  • If you're visiting an unfamiliar ATM machine, look it over carefully. Skimming devices are generally fitted onto or over the card reader. Cash trapping devices are somehow fitted to the cash dispenser and trap the cash before it's delivered to the customer.
  • Never rely on the help of strangers to retrieve a confiscated card, or for any other purpose.
  • Be aware of anyone lingering near an ATM.
  • If your card is confiscated, report it immediately! If possible, don't leave the machine, and use a cell phone to call the bank from the ATM where your card was taken.
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