RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Before you swipe your card you may want to take a closer look at the ATM. Richmond police have found about 10 cases, citywide, where "skimmers" have been used to steal private banking information.
It may look like a normal ATM but investigators say the very same machine you would use to withdraw money from your bank account could be working against you. Thieves have attached to it a device called a skimmer used to steal your credit card information.
"A skimmer is a device that would be swiped with a debit or a credit card and it would capture the magnetic information or the information that is embedded in the magnetic strip on the back of the card," said Richmond Police Sergeant A.D. Rucker.
But before you swipe your card on your next trip to the ATM you should know what to look for to prevent yourself from falling victim.
Watch out for people behind you, or shoulder surfers, to keep them from getting your pin number which they'll then use with your card information they get from the skimmer to steal your money.
Investigators say maintaining a safe distance between you and the person behind you is key. They also suggest you always cover your pin number while you enter it. Make sure the ATM does not have any loose or broken areas especially where you enter your card. And lastly, do not swipe your card if the machine appears to have any extra parts.
"Not using a card, just pay with cash is the best way now I guess," said ATM user Nazratu Kamara.
But if you do notice any strange or extra parts on the ATM you are asked to call Richmond police. And if you any information about these ATM skimming cases, call Crime Stoppers anonymously, at 780-1000.
The best way to find out if you've falling victim to a skimmer is to check your bank statement. Any inconsistencies should be taken up with your banking institution.