Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dan says over the weekend he discovered a card skimmer attached to the ATM at his local WaMu branch. He pulled it off and took photos of it.

This past weekend I went to use the local WaMu ATM to get some cash money. When I walked up to the ATM something struck me as funny…I couldn't quite put my finger on it but the card reader didn't look right, like it wasn't completely attached. I grabbed and pulled at the card reader and, lo and behold, it came off! It was actually a card skimmer attached to the ATM over that actual card reader. On the back there is a battery, flash memory card, and a mini USB port – it was set up so that ATM cards would first go through the skimmer and then into the ATM itself so you'd never know the difference. Fortunately I'd seen a news story about this sort of thing a couple of years back and have been paranoid ever since.

Watch out when you go to use an ATM!

If the card reader on an ATM seems like it doesn't belong—and especially if it looks fragile or misaligned—go to another ATM. And let someone at that bank or store know that they may want to double-check their ATM for skimmers.

We asked Dan what he did with the skimmer after he found it, and he wrote back,

When this happened on Saturday night I immediately contacted WaMu - I was put on the phone with a supervisor who took some info (where the branch was located, what time). She then told me to either take it to the police or bring it to the branch on Monday (today). I stopped by the local police station and they told me to take it to the branch on Monday so they could run their own investigation and that the bank could file a police report if needed.

The policemen got a big kick out of the skimmer, saying they'd never seen one in person.

I still have the card skimmer myself and plan on turning it in to the branch in a few hours after work.


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