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Time to be extra careful with ATM transactions in the North End

Wanted for ATM skimming in Boston's North End

Boston Police have released photos of a man they think is using a "skimmer" to harvest ATM information in the North End, which he then uses to make cash withdrawals from his victim's accounts.

Police say he made off with $10,000 in withdrawals from one account last month.

Skimmers are devices that are fitted over ATM card readers that can scan magnetic-strip information.

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is hardly new, you'd think that ATM makers and banks would have figured out a way to detect when a skimmer is added and cause the ATM to just shut down when it does happen.

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American banks can just catch up with much of the world and put chips in their cards. Foreign skimmers love American tourists because of their ancient technology in their cards. It's laughable.

Amex added this to their cards this year, and I just got a notice from Capital One that my ATM card would be updated with a chip soon as well. No need to overhaul ATMs.

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I guess you haven't heard, but all US banks and credit card issuers are putting the EMV chips in their cards by the end of the year. Merchants who don't upgrade their processing equipment to EMV readers will be accepting the potential liability for fraud.

Even with EMV chips the cards can be skimmed and used for internet based transactions.

By the way, Europe and Asia are not immune to fraud in payment systems. All systems can be exploited.

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Target in Revere and Shaw's in Eastie already have them in use.

A REALLY solid solution would be 2 factor authentication. Open your bank's app or login on the web before you use the ATM to generate a unique 1 time use code good for X hours on top of your regular pin. Make it optional for users, force the banks or ATM operators to be liable if the system legitimately fails those who do enable it, and require all ATM's to have it enabled by a certain year. I know there are a ton of specifics I didn't hit on and lots of caveats that include international governance, but that's for the security experts and politicians to figure out.

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I got a new card from Amex with this "technology" which is the chip part minus the pin. According to Amex they aren't planning on adding the PIN functionality and ask that customers continue to sign for purchases as if that plus the chip would solve the problem.

It *might* solve the problem of people making counterfeit cards and reusing these but otherwise it's another example of how American banks would rather just lose the money then have reasonable safeguards.

It should be pretty simple -- when the card is attempted to be run I should have to enter a code in on my cell phone for it to be processed. No code, no sale.

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Is great about taking care of fraudulent charges. Someone used mine to spend $5,000 at Walmart in Providence last year (I still can't figure out how they skimmed my card, unless they bought online and used store pickup). I told AMEX I had never even been to Rhode Island before (true at that point) and that was enough for them to take care of it for me.

That said, this just proves you're 100% right about this:

It *might* solve the problem of people making counterfeit cards and reusing these but otherwise it's another example of how American banks would rather just lose the money then have reasonable safeguards.

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in that neighborhood would result in a little talk with the "right" people in that neighborhood.

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The world definitely needs more vigilante justice

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What makes you think the wrong people aren't kicking up the right people who allow them to do their wrongness?

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And then the right people would take over that "line of business"?

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optically capture you entering your PIN. Or if you prefer, your PIN number and the magnetic mag-strip information at the ATM machine.

This message brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

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The Natural Guard!

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reference, dvdoff. Fist bump.

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That record got played to death at the house I lived in while an MIT student.

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hand me the pliers

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And what was the word, dear friends?

Hot Dog!

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The guy is knowledgeable enough to use an ATM skimmer, but doesn't hide his face from the ATM camera? That's just wrong.

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This has happened to me twice. Once in London and once in NYC. The last time it happened, the bank teller who was helping me sort it out was telling me that it's become a huge problem and a lot of the skimming operations are controlled by the Russian mob. They'll harvest thousands of card numbers and pins and then pay people a little bit of money to make a ton of withdrawals from different ATMs over a short period of time. He also said that they've seen a lot of people get skimmed in Cambridge ATMs during the Head of the Charles weekend over the past few years. So be careful on the other side of the river in October I guess?

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...just attached onto the front of an ATM and are easily installed/removed. When I first hear about this scam years agoi I started checking the ATMs before inserting my card. Just grab, tug, etc at the area where you insert your card. if there is a skimmer installed you will find out pretty quick.There are many other "spotter's guides" but this one is decent:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2469560,00.asp
Also google image search shows some pretty good images detailing what to look for. They will also lay a 2nd keypad over the existing one to capture pins. Pretty clever stuff.

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Most Bank of America ATMs look like they have a skimmer added on even when they don't.

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who still uses ATMs?

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Why would you *not* use them?

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