The State of New Jersey
NJ Department of Banking and Insurance
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Consumer Alert: Not All ATMs Are What They Seem

Many people use automated-teller machines to take out quick cash. What some don’t realize is that tampered with ATMs are taking personal information from them at the same time.

Consumers should be observant when using ATM machines, especially those they have not previously withdrawn money from.

Using ATMs to extract personal data, like PIN numbers or debit card numbers, is becoming a popular crime.

Highly-developed and subtle skimming devices are making it easier for thieves to take your money almost immediately after you complete a transaction.

When approaching an ATM, take a look around and see if there are strategically placed mirrors and brochure holders over your shoulder. Make sure you examine the machine for anything that appears out of the ordinary. These may be signs that scammers have installed hidden cameras or skimming devices over a card reader slot.

These schemes can provide criminals with everything from the expiration date on your credit or debit card to information encoded on the back of its magnetic strip. This process allows them to recreate your card and gives them access to your accounts.



Here are some tips so you don’t become a victim of this crime:

  • When possible use ATMs located at a bank branch rather than at a shopping mall or in high-traffic areas.
  • Cover the keyboard when entering in your PIN number.
  • If anything about an ATM looks suspicious, walk away and report it to authorities.
  • Avoid ATMs that are not located in well lit areas or are not publicly visible.
  • Keep an eye out for skimming devices or any other false paneling and hidden cameras that seem out of place.
  • Even color schemes can be a tip off. If an item attached to the ATM doesn’t match the colors of your bank or its logo, that’s a tell sign not to use it.

Anyone who suspects a suspicious or fraudulent ATM should contact local authorities or
DOBI at 609-292-7272.

OPRA is a state law that was enacted to give the public greater access to government records maintained by public agencies in New Jersey.
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New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance