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First ATMs, Then Gas Pumps, Now Post Office Stamp Machines?

First ATMs, Then Gas Pumps, Now Post Office Stamp Machines? - The Beacon


By: Amanda

First ATMs, Then Gas Pumps, Now Post Office Stamp Machines?

Your BBB has learned that schemers may now be targeting automated stamp machines are your local post office for skimming devices. According to an article on, the US Postal Inspection Service is investigating reports that schemers are installing skimming devices on automated stamp vending machines at local post offices across the US. According to the report, these skimmers have been placed in Washington D.C. and at least 13 states including Kentucky.

A skimmer is an electronic device that reads credit or debit card information and stores it. It is often designed to look very similar to the card reader actually installed in the machine. The person who installed the skimmer merely has to remove the device later and make a duplicate card which is then used for purchases or to withdraw money from your bank account.

In an effort to curb this new trend, the USPIS is asking USPS employees to check these machines multiple times throughout the day for any sign of tampering and asks consumers to do the same before using them. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, do not use the machine and report your findings to postal employees immediately.  In addition to checking the machine, here are a few other ways to protect yourself:

-Use a credit card instead of a debit card so that the thieves don’t have access to your bank account and because your liability is usually limited by the credit card company.

-If you are using your debit card on any machine that could have a skimmer, select the option to pay as a credit card instead of typing in your PIN number.

-If you must use your PIN, cover the keypad with your hand to prevent any potential hidden cameras from catching it.

-Monitor your accounts closely for any signs of trouble.

For more information on skimming devices and to see pictures of them, check out this article from or this article on ATM skimming from the FBI.

For more information you can trust, visit

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Amanda is the Director of Bureau Affairs and is a regular contributor to the consumer education blog. She is one of our go-to colleagues for answering complex consumer inquires. Amanda also manages our charity reporting program.