ATM skimmers are not new and have been around for many years already. In fact there are some ATMs that displays warning messages to customers, informing them that if they spot a foreign device on the machine, such as a skimmer, that they probably shouldn’t use it and go to a different machine instead.
However it seems that skimmers have evolved over the years to the point where it has become barely noticeable, meaning that unless you have very sharp eyes or know what you’re looking for, you could land yourself in a spot of trouble. This is according to a report from the European ATM Security Team (EAST) who has recently discovered mini skimmers that have been making appearances across Europe.
Why are these mini skimmers so dangerous? Well like we said, old skimmers tend to be more obvious as they sit on top of the card slot itself. However with these mini skimmers, they actually sit inside the card reader throat, meaning that it will not be obvious to those who aren’t paying attention.
The skimmers are then pair with a hidden camera which will then take note of the user’s ATM PIN. However EAST notes that over in Europe, they use the chip & PIN technology which makes cards harder to duplicate. This is versus cards in the US which still relies on magnetic stripes, although last we heard, plans are underway to switch to the chip system in the next year or so.