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Protect your Debit Card Number from ATM skimming

Protect your Debit Card Number from ATM skimming - The Beacon


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By: Beth

Protect your Debit Card Number from ATM skimming

Even if you’re choosy about which ATMs you use, you can still become a victim of identity thieves who place seamless devices on machines to steal debit card information. ATM skimming is a growing problem and the Better Business Bureau recommends consumers take a few steps to protect themselves from becoming the next victim.

According to, ATM skimmers are close to reaping $1 billion annually from unsuspecting consumers. Javelin Strategy & Research estimates that one in five people have become victims.

Identity thieves tamper with ATMs in any number of different ways in order to steal debit card numbers and PINs. It only takes a few seconds to install cameras over the keypad or a device over the card reader. ATMs aren’t the only hot spots, credit card swipers at gas pumps and retailers can be tampered with as well.

Skimming devices are becoming increasingly harder to detect and often blend in seamlessly with the ATM, said Alison Southwick, BBB spokesperson. If you’re going to use an ATM, you could become a victim, and it’s important to monitor your accounts closely so you can quickly detect any fraudulent activity on your card and minimize your losses.

Following are a few ways to fight identity thieves at the ATM:

For more advice on fighting identity thieves and preventing fraud, visit us online at 


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Beth was Director of BBB Services and wrote for the consumer education blog from 2008 to 2011. Beth also managed projects of the Tri-State Better Business Bureau Foundation, including the Student of Integrity Scholarship and senior citizen education programs, and she worked with local charities as a part of our charity reporting service.