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Super-thin ‘Deep insert’ ATM skimmers plague New York

·2-min read
ATM skimmers steal digital information from debit and credit cards (Getty Images/ iStock)
ATM skimmers steal digital information from debit and credit cards (Getty Images/ iStock)

Criminals in New York are using a new form of “crazy thin” ATM skimmer to steal people’s money, a security expert has warned.

The super-thin “deep insert” skimming devices can be placed inside the card slot of a cash machine in a way that is invisible for users.

A tiny pinhole camera disguised as part of the machine is then able to capture a person’s PIN code as they type it in.

Fraud investigators discovered the devices on various ATMs in and around New York City, cyber security expert Brian Krebs reported on Wednesday.

“The thieves who designed this skimmer were after the magnetic stripe data and the customer’s 4-digit personal identification number (PIN),” Mr Krebs wrote in a blog post detailing the issue.

“With those two pieces of data, the crooks can then clone payment cards and use them to siphon money from victim accounts at other ATMs.”

A financial institution that discovered one of these next-generation skimmers shared photos of the kit found on a compromised ATM, revealing how the pinhole camera was hidden within a fake panel on the side of the machine.

City authorities said that criminals are seeking to take advantage of the magnetic strip technology before it is made obsolete by newer card recognition methods, such as contactless and clone-proof chip-based cards.

“Due to the changes in ATM card security, scammers are trying their best to hack as many cards as possible,” New York’s Division of Consumer Protection wrote on its website.

The division advised consumers to be alert when using ATMs, warning against the use of machines in low traffic or low light areas.

“If the machine doesn’t give you money, or gives you an error message, call your financial institution and let them know,” the division advised.

“Only call a number you know is real, such as the one on the back of your bank card. Don’t call a number posted on an ATM, because it can be a part of the scam. If you aren’t sure, call the police non-emergency number.”