A new ATM scam is making rounds in the U.K. and it's almost impossible to spot. Why? Because fraudsters are using pinhead-sized cameras to commit the swindle. Ridiculous and spy movie-like, we know.
Metro UK reports that the City of London Police Crime Squad found a tiny camera in an ATM close to the St. Paul’s Churchyard in central London last month. The device was hidden beneath a false cover just above where the cash is dispensed, and the purpose of the scam seems to be to record the victims as they input their pin number.
The police department shared pictures on Twitter, showing how the cameras were set up by the fraudsters.
This scam is not exclusive to London, either. Last week, a similar device was found alongside a card skimmer in Long Island, NY, according to CBS2. The fraud was set up so the scammers could rely on the information of the card’s magnetic strip obtained by the skimmer and also have the card's pin number available thanks to the hidden camera.
NYPD Crime Prevention Division Inspector Thomas Conforti told CBS2 that these type of scams seem to be spreading.
"The amount of incidents being reported has dramatically increased, and it’s throughout the five boroughs,” he said.
But there are ways to prevent this from happening to you. The American Bankers Association has some tips to protect yourself.
"Visually inspect the ATM for possible skimming devices," they wrote. "Potential indicators can include sticky residue or evidence of an adhesive used by criminals to affix the device, scratches, damaged or crooked pieces, loose or extra attachments on the card slot, or noticeable resistance when pressing the keypad."
So, now you know: Whether you're in the U.S. or abroad, next time you go to use the ATM, make sure to look for a skimmer and cover the keypad when you enter your pin. Better to be safe than sorry.