Thieves are getting more and more ingenious in their schemes to steal your money at automatic teller machines. If you go to an ATM, there are some obvious ways you can tell that it’s been tampered with – but it’s getting more difficult.
In London, an off-duty police officer was somehow able to spot a tiny hole in an ATM where a hidden camera was positioned so that it could record people inputting their PINs, according to the Daily Mail.
Can you spot the hidden cam on this ATM? Here’s how to protect yourself
Pin-point holes are just the latest tactic scammers are using to separate unwitting customers from their money.
PC Matt Clarke, from the City of London Police Crime Squad, shares this advice with consumers: “If you spot anything unusual about a cash machine, or if there are signs of tampering, don’t use it. If in doubt, try and use a machine inside a branch,” he told the Daily Mail.
The newspaper has uncovered other ways that criminals can prey on unsuspecting people. In one December video, it showed how crooks devised a card skimmer to fit on the card entry point on a London ATM.
With all the ways bad guys are trying to take advantage of us, what can we do? Here are four things you can make a habit of to stay protected from criminals:
- Avoid giving your credit card to sketchy establishments or vendors whose reputations you don’t know. This goes for online transactions as well.
- Money expert Clark Howard says be leery of sharing personal details on social media. “This is such a prominent scam right now, with people gathering information that you have posted willingly on social media,” he says.
- Sign up for a Credit Karma or Credit Sesame account to get free credit monitoring and be notified when anyone tries to access your personal info. Here’s a step-by-step rundown of how to do it.
- If you have any reason to think that your personal detail may be compromised (and this is most of us at this point, thanks to Equifax), freeze your credit. Here’s our Credit Freeze Guide.