Federal Bureau of Investigation

NBC 5 Responds Shows How ATM Skimmers Work

Monitoring service reports 546-percent increase in compromised ATMs

The next time you get money from an ATM, take an extra moment to look over the machine carefully.

It could save you time and money.

The FICO Card Alert Service monitors hundreds of thousands of ATMs across the country and reports a 546-percent jump in what are called "compromised ATMs."

How does an ATM become compromised? The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a diagram that explains how it happens.

First, the crooks put a skimmer over where the card reader is located. That's so they can grab your card info. The crooks will also put up a hidden camera. That will grab your PIN when you enter it. Otherwise, they may put an overlay on the keypad which does the same thing. It gets your PIN.

Be extra cautious with ATMs in tourist areas, experts say. Crooks love them. Try to use an ATMs that are inside. Those are less likely to be targeted.

Inspect your ATM closely for anything loose, crooked or damaged. Get worried if you see scratches or tape residue. And when you enter your PIN, use your other hand to shield the view in case there are any hidden cameras.

Here's more background from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

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