Card Skimming & PIN Theft Tricks Criminals Use

South African criminals have become very smart when it comes to card skimming and stealing your PIN. These are the devices and random things to look out for at an ATM when going to withdraw money.

How do criminals steal your card at an ATM? Read about it here.

Card Skimming Devices

card skimming

Counterfeiting and card skimming is still one of the biggest crimes in South Africa, with criminals using very sophisticated technology to catch many unsuspecting victims.

According to Sabric’s (South African Banking Risk Information Centre) Card Fraud report, 1377 hand held skimming devices has been recovered by either bank investigators or the SAPS over the last decade.

Gauteng being the top place for these card skimming devices of course.

Naturally we can assume that card skimming also takes place at ATM’s and point of sale stations. In just 2014, 237 ATM-mounted skimming devices were recovered in Gauteng alone.

How Small Is Card Skimming Technology?

Krebs on security released some information on a new card skimmer that is so small and thin, it can fit into a card slot at any ATM.

Shown below is a picture of what this device looks like, you can even see the coin sized lithium battery that powers the device.

These devices are almost always used in conjunction with small camera’s to capture the user’s PIN, with this the criminals can now clone your card at will.

card skimming

Using Thermal Technology To Steal Your PIN.

Now anyone can look at a keypad using just a smartphone with a thermal App and a small thermal camera. Criminals use this exact trick to see what buttons you entered at the ATM.

This is easy as you leave a behind thermal signature when you press buttons at the ATM. Criminals use a smartphone with a FLIR ONE thermal imaging attachment to figure out your PIN.

Because there is a small time lapse between the time you enter the first number of your PIN and the last number, it’s easy to determine what the PIN is you’ve entered.

Here is a picture to show how easy it is to use this technology.

card skimming

Fortunately, it is easy to prevent this from happening. Just lightly touch other random keys on the keypad. This way they won’t be able to figure out your PIN using this thermal imaging technology.

Handheld Card Skimming Devices.

Handheld card skimming devices are mostly used by criminals to steal bank card info from victims using an ATM.

Criminals will dress like a bank employee or try to convince the victim that they’re from the bank ant that you’ll have to use the hand held device, which is actually a card skimming device.

The partner of this “bank employee” will then shoulder the victim to get the PIN.

A counterfeited card is then made from this information which allows the criminals to withdraw as much as the want from any other ATM in the country.

Here are some examples of hand held card skimming devices.

card skimming

Card Skimming Devices Mounted At ATM’s

ATM mounted card skimming devices almost work the same as the handheld card skimming devices, the difference being that these card skimmers are attached to an ATM.

So before you withdraw money at any ATM, always inspect the ATM and cover your PIN with your free hand to be extra secure.

This is what some ATM mounted card skimmers look like.

card skimming

Stealing Your PIN

From looking over your shoulder to installing a small camera to installing a fake keypad. There are many ways criminals can use to steal your PIN.

That’s why everyone should be on the lookout for small cameras, shoulder surfers and fake keypads when withdrawing money at any ATM.

card skimming

This is a very small camera used to capture the PIN you enter. See how the card slot stands out from the rest of the ATM. That’s because this is a card skimmer with a camera to record the PIN entered.

card skimming

Here you can see more small cameras hidden very well in the ATM. Always remember, an ATM is built with a form of cemetery, meaning that what’s on one side will be on the other. When this is not the case, leave the ATM, report it and use another ATM at a different location.

card skimmer

This is a fake keypad make to capture your PIN and also input your details into the ATM, so you won’t suspect a thing.

Take a look at the top 10 scams is SA and learn how to avoid them all together.

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