The European ATM Security Team (EAST) has placed seized criminal video footage onto its website. This shows how criminals can get the 4-digit PIN used for ATM transactions, yet also shows how the PIN can easily be protected by cardholders.
While the vast majority of ATM transactions are completely secure, criminals do occasionally target cash machines to try to either steal cards (card trapping) or to copy cards to create counterfeits (card skimming). In both cases the criminals need to obtain the 4-digit cardholder PIN to allow for fraudulent cash withdrawal. The video on the EAST website, provided courtesy of the LINK ATM Scheme, shows criminals installing a micro camera above an ATM PIN pad and then placing a skimming device over the card reader throat. The scenes that follow show cardholders conducting transactions at the ATM, and it is easy to see that the criminals can't obtain the PIN of those who cover their hand when entering it. To watch the video click here.
Graham Mott, Head of External Relations and Development at the LINK ATM Scheme and a Director of EAST, commented: "While micro cameras are not the only way that criminals can attempt to get PIN information, it is a common method. By covering your hand every time you enter your PIN at an ATM you immediately and significantly reduce the risk of it being compromised either by a camera or by someone looking over your shoulder. This is a 'best practice' tip for ATM users that LINK has been actively promoting in the UK, and EAST throughout Europe. By seeing what the criminals can see, we hope that this video will encourage more people to routinely do this."