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Skimmers are tiny devices that cyber-thieves can attach to the card readers on ATM's gas pumps, train ticket machines and supermarket and other card readers at checkout. The device scans the card at the same time that the intended card reader scans it and sends the information to the person who installed it with the intent of stealing money from the card owners. David Boehm, COO of Security USA explains that the devices are being used increasingly, and are difficult to detect, so video can be the most effective security tool against them.
Technology has cut down on waiting time for many transactions by allowing people to swipe a card instead of dealing with a human being to complete their purchase. Whether they are making a bank withdrawal at an ATM, buying gasoline at a self-serve station buying a train ticket from a machine at New York's busy Penn Station or just swiping their own card at the supermarket or other retailer, card readers have become a part of daily life for most Americans. Unfortunately, so has the risk of having your financial information stolen through the use of a skimmer; a tiny device that is attached to the card reader which also reads your card and sends the information to the device's owners, allowing them access to your bank account or credit card.
The devices are designed to be unnoticable to the untrained eye. Citibank executives have stated that this should not be a concern to the average citizen because you are not liable for any loss resulting from the inappropriate use of an ATM by another person, but with the increased use of skimmers, the cost to the banks and other financial institutions are on the rise, as they are requried to reimburse the innocent victim for the funds that were stolen. David Boehm of Security USA believes that the use of video surveillance at all ATM's is the best way to avoid the issue, or at least apprehend the perpetrators, as the footage can be reviewed to see when the device was installed and by whom.
Banks need to revisit their security plans. An in-person bank heist typically yields three to five thousand dollars, but a skimmer can yield ten times that amount, typically resulting in a loss of nearly fifty thousand dollars. Financial institutions would do well to add video suveillance to their bank security planning.
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