ORANGTOWN, N.Y. -- Card skimmers know their business well -- and know how to hide them just as well. That's why the Orangetown Police Department is asking residents to be on the lookout for skimmers when you use your credit card and offer a few tips as well.
Card skimming is the practice of installing "skimmers," or clandestine card readers, into ATMs. The skimmers read your card number at the same time as the ATM. Combined with a pinhole camera that allows your PIN to be identified as you type it in, these systems allow criminals to steal your debit card information, create a fake card and empty your account, Orangetown police said.
Steps to take include:
- Give the card reader a tug to see if it is loose or has been tampered with.
- Put your hand over the keypad when typing in your personal identification number to hide the input from the camera.
- If you are using a swipe-type reader, pull on it; they are usually fixed with two-sided tape.
- If your cash does not come out of the slot, report it to the bank immediately. The could mean skimmers have "trapped it" and will be able to remove your money once you have left.
- Always report any suspicious ATM to the bank and to the police.
- Finally, be aware of your surroundings when using the ATM, making sure you are not being watched.
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