Number of ATM skimming incidents up drastically in recent years

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — New data shows that cases of ATM skimming have spiked by more than 500 percent – and your bank account could be at risk.

Matt Bretzius said he swiped his bank card at an ATM at Harrah’s Resort during a night out in Atlantic City. The next morning, he said he found more than a dozen fraudulent charges on his bank account.

“I did research into the transactions on my bank account,” he said. “I was kind of like, ‘maybe I did go to Subway’ until I saw it was in Canada.”

Software company FICO, which audits hundreds of thousands of ATMs nationwide, said instances of skimming rose 546-percent between 2014 and 2015.

“We monitor all of the ATM networks here in the United States,” said FICO vice president TJ Horan.

According to Horan, 60 percent of skimming incidents were recorded at ATMs that were not affiliated with a specific bank.

Consumer Guide: How to spot an ATM skimming device »
Consumer Guide: How to spot an ATM skimming device »

“In a convenience store, in a gas station,” he said. “Organized financial crime rings have found out that there is some weakness there.”

It’s not just ATMs that fall victim to skimmers, either. In recent months, Eyewitness News has reported on several skimming devices that have been discovered on gas pumps, including one in Attleboro.

If you suspect that your card or pin number may have been compromised, contact your bank and check your account frequently.

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