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FBI Warns Banks About Impending ATM Scam - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

FBI Warns Banks About Impending ATM Scam

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By Carlos Gamino 

According to recent reports, the FBI is warning big banks about a possible ATM scam that’s in the works – and the scam could cost customers their identities and everything in their bank accounts, according to cybersecurity experts.

The type of scam is simple. Hackers use malware to access a bank or credit card processor, and they can use the data they find to make fraudulent copies of ATM cards and credit cards. They can also manipulate account information and security settings.

“Just prior to executing on ATM cash-outs, the intruders will remove many fraud controls at the financial institution, such as maximum ATM withdrawal amounts and any limits on the number of customer ATM transactions daily,” says Brian Krebs, who runs a cybersecurity website.

"In furtherance of public-private partnerships, the FBI routinely advises private industry of various cyber threat indicators observed during the course of our investigations. This data is provided in order to help systems administrators guard against the actions of persistent cyber criminals,” the FBI said in a statement to Business Insider.

The FBI has advised banks to review how they handle security and ensure that they require strong passwords and two-factor authentication. 

Even outside that, though, there are a few things you can do to protect your money (and your identity) when you’re at an ATM:

  • Check the keypad. Make sure it doesn’t look thicker and that it doesn’t move. Sometimes thieves install a dummy keypad over a real one to capture your information.
  • Check the card reader. See if the card reader seems bulky or designed differently from the rest of the machine. If it’s loose, or if it’s oddly covered, use a different ATM.

What Do You Think?

Do you think banks are doing enough to protect people, or are they doing too much? Do you find strong password requirements and two-factor authentication to be annoying? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino