Due to increased security in credit card and Internet transactions, traditional targets of electronic theft, many thieves are turning to other options to steal money, such as hijacking ATMs. This can be done several ways. One popular method involves skimmers. Skimmers are card-reading devices that are attached to the card slots of legitimate ATMs. (Gas station payment terminals are another frequent target of skimmers.) They are not obviously noticeable, and they still allow the ATM to operate normally. When you insert your ATM or debit card, the skimmer reads your card information. When you enter your pin, the thieves capture it with a hidden camera or keyboard overlay device. Then they can put your information onto a blank magnetic card, and use it at ATMs or in stores, or just use your information to shop online, until your account runs out of money.
There was a bit of buzz in the banking world this past week about the rising cost of out-of-network ATM fees. And it reminded me — again! — about the benefits of credit union membership. In its 2015 survey, Bankrate.com revealed the average cost of an out-of-network ATM transaction rose 4% to $4.52. This is a fee that our members never have to pay.