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Illinois Bank Regulators Warn of Potential ATM Scam [02/12/2003]

OBRE CONSUMER ALERT
CA 2-2003

Illinois Bank Regulators Warn of Potential ATM Scam

The Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate (OBRE) wants to warn bank customers of a high-tech scheme involving devices that strip bank account information from bank customers while they are using automated teller machines (ATMs).

Illinois Banking Regulators want bank customers to be on the alert for this new type of scam that is occurring at ATMs. The scam involves a fraudulent device that thieves attach to the ATM where customers insert their cards. The fraudulent device reads and captures the magnetic strip on the back of the card, which is where the account information resides. The device sticks out from the face of an ATM machine about half an inch and is attached with double sided tape. If bank customers see such a device, or if an ATM card opening looks suspicious, they should not use the ATM machine.

A similar scam surfaced in 2001 when thieves used a simple plastic sleeve that captured an ATM card and prevented the actual bank machine from reading the card. Customers would assume the machine had eaten their card and leave. The thieves would return to the ATM for the captured cards and their associated Personal Identification Number (PIN), which the customer had entered into the machine.

Bottom line, bank customers need to be aware of their surroundings when banking at an ATM machine. If something looks suspicious or you’re concerned with your safety, you should not use the machine and contact your bank or local police.


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