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ATM Skimmers – The new wave of cyber crimes

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For all those accountholders who have lost their money from the fraudsters through ATM points, it is yet another chance of skimmer found in a local ATM machine in capital city of Islamabad. A skimmer is a tiny device that gets fixed in ATM card slot and copies all the stored data to steal the money. Mr. Saqib Ahmed who by profession is an electrical engineer and computer software developer brought the news to us when he went to an ATM in Islamabad to withdraw cash in the evening of October 13. He explained that he was astonished to see a skimmer device attached with the ATM.

ATM Users! Beware of the Skimmers

As Mr. Saqib was quite familiar with skimmers but still the time when he found the skimmer on ATM, it was looking totally different to what he perceived and it was merely a real skimmer. The engineer held his breath and put one of his old ATM cards to see what happens. Mr. Saqib told that it was not easily going through at all but the ejection was relatively planed. He then took a few pictures of the small skimmer and kept it for further investigation.

As Mr. Saqib settled, he called the respective bank and elaborated the matter. While he took the pictures, he was able to sketch the design of device. According to him it had a serial interface, a magnetic card reader, a tiny 8-bit flash disk of storing up to 2MB data plus there was a mini-USB port for stealing, retrieving or transforming data across different devices. He also told us that there was 30mAh lithium ion battery that he supposed to keep the device in running for many days. While he was describing its components he estimated that the skimmer will not cost more than RS. 1,000.

Mr. Saqib Ahmed was later on contacted by bank representative who asked him to handover the skimmer to the bank which was given after completing necessary procedure by bank. The bank also told in their conversation with us that in CCTV footage, it was an unknown young guy wearing a cap who actually installed the skimmer before 45 minutes of Mr. Saqib entry. The bank manager said that skimmer has been sent to concerned department for taking investigation and ensuring safety of future transaction.

Experts say that it is very critical for ATM users to make sure the safety of their data and transaction. Before inserting your ATM card, be certain that there is no suspicious material around the card slot if you see any, don’t use that ATM. It is also important fact that there were more than 20 cases of skimmers where users lost their money in last week of August. M. Younas is one of the sufferers who lost RS. 30,000 said that after a waiting two months, I was finally repaid by bank with half of amount.

The director of FIA Mr. Inam told that the national response center for cyber crimes is carefully watching these issues. He further explained that banks are also responsible for such issues because without the help of bank’s employees these offenses are almost impossible to be successful.

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One Comment

  1. ShabanaDec 26,2012 Reply

    As you can see majority is saiyng NO I say NO as well because if you read the fine print on your CC statement, you’ll see for yourself how high a Cash Advance interest rate is. Since you will now have a car your note + insurance + the interest from the CC cash advance ..you’ll really have a huge dent in your wallet.Why can’t the dealer use the car as collateral?The other way to go about getting the cash from your card without an advance (if you’ve exhausted all other options including getting a co-signer or borrowing from a family member) ..is .I’m not sure if you have Credit Card checks, which you can make one payable to yourself and deposit the check in your checking account and wait for it to clear and then withdraw from your checking account.Good Luck with your decision all the same!

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