Do You Use ATM? Everything You Need to Know About ATM Cloning


With instances of ATM skimming and cloning growing rapidly, there’s a pressing need to identify the red flags and take preventive measures to ward off financial loses.

If you think your ATM card is safe, it’s time to broaden your purview. Scammers are getting inventive by the day, pulling off skimming and cloning tricks to siphon off your hard earned money. The numbers are there to indicate the trend, courtesy ETV Breaking News.

  • The credit/debit card information theft was up by 40% in the previous year alone.
  • Over 80 ATM users were robbed blind in Kolkata through skimming techniques.
  • The Delhi Police Control Room receives 10 to 15 complaints of card cloning per day.

ETV Bharat dives deep into these shady practices to give you a thorough insight. If information is the power, it’s time to use this information to hedge yourself against financial loses.

What is ATM Skimming and Cloning?

The inventors of cloning technology wouldn’t be proud of what scammers are using cloning for. Regardless of the city or region, cheaters are plying their craft to create multiple copies of your credit and debit cards and use them to empty out your bank accounts even before you get a whiff of it. According to ETV News Paper, ATM skimming is about card information theft.

To this end, a small device, called skimmer, is scrupulously inserted into the ATM machine’s card slot. Now when you use the tempered ATM, the device gets an imprint of your pertinent information encrypted in the magnetic strip of the card. However, the information thus retrieved may not suffice to pull off the forgery, as your PIN is also required. That’s exactly why a small camera is sneaked into the machine, preferably at the top of the number pad.

Per ETV Bharat Crime News, once card information and PIN number are acquired, the clone card is created and used across ATMs for money withdrawals or at e-commerce stores for purchasing.

Spotting the tempered ATM:

A tempered machine will appear different from an un-tempered one on the following accounts.

  • If the position of the card reader is a few inches outwards than the normal to accommodate the skimmer, take it as a red flag and report it to the authorities.
  • Fraudsters cover the machine’s number pad with a thin film to get hold of your PIN number. If you spot any such film, it’s an indicator of a rigged machine.
  • Look for a camera exactly above the keypad that captures your PIN. ETV News Live recommends you not to use the ATM and suggests others to avoid it as well.

Tips to avoid ATM skimming:

ATM cloning frauds are avoidable, provided some precautionary measures are taken upfront.

  • Look for the signs of a tempered ATM, including a protruding or loose card reader, a film coating on the keypad or a camera just above it.
  • ETV Latest News also suggests you put your spare hand above the keypad when typing in your PIN to keep it discreet from the prying camera.
  • Prefer using ATMs with a 24/7 janitor because unguarded or sparsely guarded ATMs are more vulnerable to tampering. By the same token, opt for heavily frequented ATMs.

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Written by Pranab Bhandari

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