Security expert: ATM “skimmers” are widespread problem

    Five Bulgarian men are accused of using “skimming” devices to steal ATM card numbers and PIN codes from people in the region.  The men are accused of stealing over $145,000 by swiping ATM card information in Montgomery County.

    Former Washington Post reporter turned cybercrime expert Brian Krebs of the website Krebsonsecurity.com says in most cases, thieves attach a skimmer on the front of an ATM.  The skimmer steals information encoded into the magnetic stripe on the back of the card which can then be used to tap into your bank account.

    “The point of stealing is you can encode that information on counterfeit cards and if you have that PIN you can go to any ATM in the US and put the card in and pull money out of that card,” said Krebs.

    Krebs says most of the equipment is made in basements and foreign countries, but it has been getting more sophisticated.  He says the good news victims will likely get most of their money back.

    “When you are dealing with your ATM card its limited to $50 as long as the fraud is reported in a timely manner,” said Krebs.

    Krebs says sometimes people only find out when they get a call from the bank about suspicious withdrawals.

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