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First Active 'ATM Card Skimmer' Spotted in the Wild



ATM card skimmers. We knew they were a terrifying technical possibility, but, until now, no one had ever found one in the wild. That is until a reader, known as Dan, e-mailed The Consumerist with the photo above and a tale about a suspicious-looking ATM at his local Washington Mutual branch.

Dan noticed that something was a little off. The card slot didn't seem to be completely attached to the machine. Being paranoid after seeing a special a few years back about devices that could be unobtrusively attached to an ATM and used to steal your bank information, he gave the slot a quick tug, and it popped right off in his hand.

On the back of the fake faceplate, Dan found a flash drive, a battery, and a mini USB port for retrieving the stolen information. The faceplate allowed the bank card to pass through to the ATM, reading the card without disrupting normal operation.

Dan took the card skimmer, which could have let the criminal owner of the device steal money straight from his account, to the police, who marveled at it before asking him to bring it to WaMu so they could perform their own investigation.

Maybe it's a sign of the tough economic times that this theoretical criminal tool has finally found its way into the real world. We'll be sure to pay extra close attention to every ATM we hit from now on. [From: Consumerist, Via: BetaNews]

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Tags: ATM, card skimmer, CardSkimmer, crime, identity theft, IdentityTheft, security, skimming

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