Article, Fintech

ATM Skimmers and Phishing Sites

skimmers_phishing

Scams are committed every single day to somebody somewhere in the world at just about any given time. Whether it’s in person or online, conmen or women are people that you still have to keep an eye out for.

Sometimes it’s just one person who’s trying to scam you, sometimes it’s a small team and other times it can be a large company. But regardless of who’s doing the scamming, we need to make sure we are able to protect ourselves. Here are two common scams and what you can do to stop yourself from becoming a victim.

ATM Skimming Scams

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are frequently used every single day by people all over the world and are a common target for scammers. One of the most used methods of ATM scamming is ATM skimming, which involves the scammers using some tech of their own.

ATM Skimming is generally used to steal your credit or bank card information, rather than directly scam you out of money. Sometimes, the victim is not even aware that their information was skimmed and can take a few weeks or even months before the crooks decide to start using your money.

However, sometimes just skimming your card is not always enough and they may also need to get a hold of your pin number. Scammers achieve this usually by placing a discreet camera where it can record you entering your pin.

So, how do you stop yourself from becoming a victim of an ATM skimmer. Fortunately, it’s quite easy. The first thing you should do at all ATMs is to see if you can budge or move the card scanner/reader, or any part of the machine where you insert your card.  If the card scanner moves at all then it’s probably a skimmer. If it doesn’t move, give it a pinch and squeeze it. A real card reader does not flex, but an overlaid skimmer’s plastic will flex a little.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhgkuVneHgM
Techquickies video on ATM Skimmers

If you ever find an ATM skimmer, be sure to inform the operators of the ATM or call the police.

Cryptocurrency Phishing Scams

Cryptocurrency scams can be a long list as the technology is rather new and many people don’t fully understand what they’re dealing with when it comes to cryptocurrencies. So, for this article, we’ll focus on the most commonly seen scam, the Phishing Scam, but if you’d like a more extensive list of crypto scams, we have an earlier article that you may wish to read: Warning Signs on ICO’s and Scam Projects.

The intention of phishers is to steal your information so that they can have access to your online accounts, which allows them to move around and basically steal your money and/or crypto.

Phishers duplicate the design of an already well-known website, making an exact copy of it and then push their deceitful version of the website to the public. They achieve this either by Google ads, or spreading their false links around on social media.

Unaware people will then click on this link, believing they are being taken to the original trusted website, but are in fact now on the phishing site where if they go to log in, the scammers will be able to see all of the victim’s login information. The scammers then have full access to the victim’s account on the real website, where they can now log in and do what they please.

Below is an example of a phishing alert for binance.com
https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/7oxqcn/phishing_alert_watch_out_for_a_binancecom/

The second link is a scam where the “a” in binance is, in fact, the alpha sign. If you compare the first link and the second, you can see that there is a difference.

So, how do you prevent yourself from becoming a victim of phishers? Phishers like to target people who aren’t familiar with the original website, so the best way is to either have the original safe link bookmarked or if you know the address, type it into the address bar directly.

If you ever see a phishing scam, be sure to report it and share the alert with other people to keep them safe!

Cover illustration artist thespook, DeviantArt

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A lover and advocate of all things Tech, Loy has had an exciting time learning about Blockchain and the possibilities it brings for the future.