Marianas Variety

Last updateSun, 19 Aug 2018 8am







    Sunday, August 19, 2018-6:16:06A.M.






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New ATM skimming devices can collect information remotely

NEW ATM skimming devices use micro-processing, wi-fi, and Bluetooth-enabled technology to collect information remotely, according to the Marianas Regional Fusion Center.

The MRFC advises the public to be on alert for skimming devices after police found a skimmer at a Bank of Guam ATM on Guam on June 6, 2018.

The MRFC coordinates the exchange of criminal intelligence, threats, and hazards and facilitates regional communication among Mariana Islands law enforcement, first responders, government and private sector partners.

The MRFC stated that there will likely be a continued increase of skimming-related financial crimes, particularly the use of skimming devices.

With thousands of travelers visiting and traveling through the  region, the MRFC said skimming devices may be passing through the borders via traveling passengers, cargo containers, and mail.

There are several new types of skimmer that have become more technologically advanced, “allowing data to be collected in bulk, from a distance, and without need for the skimmer device to be retrieved,” the MRFC said.

Older versions of the skimmer used radio frequency identification to collect or transmit card data and a hidden camera to collect PINs.

“These older skimmers required portions of the device to be retrievable to fully collect card information; newer skimmers use micro-processing, wi-fi, and Bluetooth-enabled technology to collect remotely without the perpetrator ever having to return.”

The ability for criminal organizations to exploit the rapid advancement of technology in this field may have a profound effect and create challenges to countering such criminal operations, the MRFC added.

It offered the following tips to consumers:

  • • Use ATMs from your banking institution, preferably ATMs that are in secured access rooms for bank members that are monitored by video systems.
  • • For ATMs, inspect the device. Look for uneven colors or loose PIN pads and tug on the card slot before inserting your card.
  • • Avoid paying for gas at the pump; pay inside and with cash when possible.
  • • Check the machine for tampering. The presence of scratches, tape, or adhesive residue could indicate a fraudulent device.
  • • Avoid gas pumps where the tamper-safe security seal affixed to the pump has been broken or security tape appears fake or out of place.
  • • Look at other nearby gas pumps or ATM card readers to see if they match the one you are using.
  • • Look above and around the keypad for suspicious cameras/miniature cameras.
  • • Place your hand over the keypad when entering your PIN.
  • • It is advisable to monitor financial statements for fraudulent activity frequently.
  • • While processing an ATM financial transaction and a skimmer device is discovered, report it to local law enforcement immediately.
  • • Report any fraudulent credit card activity to the card-issuing agency.