Skimming occurs when devices illegally installed on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or fuel pumps capture data or record cardholders’ PINs. Criminals use the data to create fake debit or credit cards and then steal from victims’ accounts. It is estimated that skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.
Fuel Pump Skimming
- Fuel pump skimmers are usually attached in the internal wiring of the machine and aren’t visible to the customer.
- The skimming devices store data to be downloaded or wirelessly transferred later.
Tips When Using a Fuel Pump
- Choose a fuel pump that is closer to the store and in direct view of the attendant. These pumps are less likely to be targets for skimmers.
- Run your debit card as a credit card. If that’s not an option, cover the keypad when you enter your PIN.
- Consider paying inside with the attendant, not outside at the pump.
ATM and POS Terminal Skimming
- ATM skimmer devices usually fit over the original card reader.
- Some ATM skimmers are inserted in the card reader, placed in the terminal, or situated along exposed cables.
- Pinhole cameras installed on ATMs record a customer entering their PIN. Pinhole camera placement varies widely.
- In some cases, keypad overlays are used instead of pinhole cameras to records PINs. Keypad overlays record a customer’s keystrokes.
- Skimming devices store data to be downloaded or wirelessly transferred later.
Tips When Using an ATM or POS Terminal
- Inspect ATMs, POS terminals, and other card readers before using. Look for anything loose, crooked, damaged, or scratched. Don't use any card reader if you notice anything unusual.
- Pull at the edges of the keypad before entering your PIN. Then, cover the keypad when you enter your PIN to prevent cameras from recording your entry.
- Use ATMs in a well-lit, indoor location, which are less vulnerable targets.
- Be alert for skimming devices in tourist areas, which are popular targets.
- Use debit and credit cards with chip technology. In the U.S., there are fewer devices that steal chip data versus magnetic strip data.
- Avoid using your debit card when you have linked accounts. Use a credit card instead.
- Contact your financial institution if the ATM doesn't return your card after you end or cancel a transaction.
Related FBI News and Multimedia
Miami Man Sentenced for His Role in a Nationwide Gas Station Skimming Scheme
Arley Gonzalez was sentenced to more than two years in prison for his role in an access device fraud conspiracy.
Foreign National Sentenced to 36 Months and Ordered to Pay More Than $199,000 in Restitution for Gas Skimming Scheme in Utah and Idaho
Yofre Napoleon Almonte was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty in a gas skimming scheme.
Two Miami-Area Men Sentenced in Connection with Nationwide Gas Station Skimming Scheme
Hugo Hernandez and Marlon Palacios of Florida were sentenced to prison for an access device fraud conspiracy and a money laundering conspiracy.
Miami Residents Sentenced for Their Roles in a Money Laundering Conspiracy Connected to a Nationwide Gas Station Skimming Scheme
Yanio Montes de Oca and Atnetys Ferreira Milian were sentenced for their respective roles in a conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Two Individuals Sentenced for Conspiracy Charges Involving the Sale of Fraudulent Identity Documents on the Darknet
An Italian national and a U.S. national, both New York residents, have been sentenced on charges of conspiring to transfer false identification documents.
Member of Cuban Credit Card Skimming Crew Sentenced to Prison
Denis Monsibaez Diaz, a Cuban national, has been sentenced to 37 months in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Romanian National Sentenced for Role in Multi-State ATM Skimming Scheme
Dragush Nelo Hornea, a Romanian national, has been sentenced in federal court in Boston on racketeering conspiracy charges relating to an ATM skimming operation.
Las Vegas Man Sentenced to Prison for Credit Card Fraud Scheme
Fausto Teixeira Martins Neto was sentenced to 111 months in prison for using skimming devices to steal victims’ identities and credit card account information.
Miami Man Pleads Guilty in Connection with Nationwide Gas Station Skimming Scheme
Joan Jesus Manso Dieguez of Miami pleaded guilty to access device fraud conspiracy and a related money laundering conspiracy charge.
Romanian National Sentenced in Connection with ATM Skimming Scheme
Nemanja Milosavljevic, a Romanian national, was sentenced in Boston in connection with an ATM skimming scheme operating throughout Massachusetts and other states.