Smart Consumer: Don't let thieves cash in on you -- protect your PIN
After a quiet phase, there has been a wave of ATM skimming in Ireland and across Europe. In Ireland, 23 ATM machines across the country were compromised and in five machines, where anti-skimming devices had not yet been installed, the fraudsters were successful.
A hidden camera records your PIN and a skimming device placed inside the ATM captures the details from the black stripe on your card.
The data can be transferred to the criminals who make a new blank white card containing your card information.
Armed with the white card and PIN, they can withdraw money from ATMs. Not having a chip on the card doesn't deter them because they can use ATMs in countries where chip and pin hasn't been rolled out, such as in the US.
Operation Rook, run by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation since December 2009 has resulted in the recent arrests of eight people, who were charged with skimming-related offences, and files have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The easiest and simplest thing you can do to keep your details safe at an ATM is to use your free hand as a shield when entering your pin. That way even if your card is skimmed, the camera won't catch your pin and it can't be used.
If you notice anything unusual about an ATM machine, report it to the bank immediately.