Learn to spot the signs of ATM skimming.

Skimming occurs when devices are illegally installed in or on ATMs or point-of-sale (POS) terminals to capture data or record cardholders’ PINs. Criminals use the data to create fake debit or credit cards and then steal from victims’ accounts.


A plastic overlay is placed on the ATM keypad or tiny cameras are placed on the ATM to record keypad entries to capture your PIN. An overlay is also placed on the card reader slot which records the data on the magnetic stripe.

Inspect the card reader and keypad. If the card reader or keypad feels loose, out of place or off alignment, there’s a chance it could have a skimmer attached to it.

Look for hidden cameras. There might be a hidden camera capturing you entering your PIN.


The new skimming technique uses a redesigned Deep Insertion Skimmer along with an additional attack method that alters the internal workings of the card reader. After this modification is performed, the skimmer can then operate inside the reader. The altered readers show no signs of outward damage to the ATM user. Similarly, because the skimmer is placed deep inside the reader, these devices are almost impossible to spot for the typical ATM user.

The most common indicator of a Deep Insertion Skimmer is impaired usability of the reader because the skimmer causes increased friction during card insertion and withdrawal. This is due to less space for the card in the throat of the reader. Other indicators are card read failures.

Skimming attacks also require the PIN, with the most common method of PIN capture being the use of a covert camera hidden on the ATM. While Deep Insert Skimmers are very difficult to spot, PIN capture cameras are mounted on the outside of the ATM. PIN cameras are typically hidden behind fake panels added to the ATM fascia. Fake panels that conceal a camera will have a small pin hole aperture to allow the camera to view the PIN pad. Any small holes observed in the vicinity of the PIN pad should be considered suspicious.


If you suspect the ATM you’re using may have a skimming device or if you see something that doesn’t quite seem right, notify the branch so they can take appropriate action. If you notice anything while the branch is closed, contact the police so they can investigate the suspicious activity.