ON YOUR SIDE: Be on the look out for skimmers on ATMs around Ala - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

ON YOUR SIDE: Be on the look out for skimmers on ATMs around Alabama

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

Card skimmers are showing up more on bank ATM’s. Last week, a skimmer was found attached to an ATM at a Hancock bank in south Alabama. Police say another one was found across the street on a Trustmark Bank ATM. We’re told the Secret Service is working with local authorities to try and figure out who put the device on the ATMs.

“The skimming capability is getting easier and easier all the time,” Jeff Walker, chair of Criminal Justice at UAB said.

Walker says skimming is fairly simple these days and its becoming a headache for law enforcement. From January to April in 2015, skimming at bank-owned ATM’s was up over 173 %. Skimming at non-bank ATM’s skyrocketed over 300 % according to the 2015 FICO Card alert service.

“With the internal ones, they are going straight to a cell phone. So when you skim it the number is automatically sent and all the information is sent are automatically sent to a cell phone and they are starting to sell it right away or use it,” Walker said.

Walker says before using an ATM, look closely at the card reader to make sure it’s built in and not glued or taped onto the machine.

“When you go up to an ATM, give it a shake because if it sounds loose or feels loose, don’t use that one. It could have a skimmer over the top of it,” Walker added.

Walker says police are shutting down skimming operations around the state but says its like playing wack-a-mole with scammers.

“It’s a game. We are finding them. We’re shutting them down. Law enforcement does. The banks do. They’re just popping up in other places,” Walker said.

UAB's cyber security center works with law enforcement to shut down skimming and credit card fraud operations. Recently they found two locations in Birmingham where scammers are operating out of.

Banks are trying to protect its customers from skimmers. We received this statement from Regions spokesman Jeremy King:

“Regions offers ATMs with security devices that are designed to alert our investigators if they detect anyone trying to place a skimmer into the machine. Further, our Fraud Monitoring Group works around the clock to help detect any suspicious patterns and notify customers if potential fraud is detected.

All of Regions’ ATMs are chip-card compliant. Chip technology fights skimming by encrypting customers’ financial information. The technology is designed to reduce or eliminate the ability of a thief to steal and replicate financial data.

Security precautions work best when customers are watching out, too. In addition to monthly statements, check your account online or through your bank’s mobile app. If you see any charges or withdrawals you didn’t make, let your bank know immediately. The sooner you report anything suspicious, the sooner your bank can investigate and resolve the issue.”

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