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Authorities warn ATM users of hidden cameras

Say thiefs use them to steal PIN numbers
NerdWallet-Student-Credit Cards
Posted at 12:54 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 16:19:45-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Police and other credit card experts are warning of a new scam being used to steal bank card information and PINs.

Earlier this month, police arrested four people who installed small cameras on ATMs. They say there could be more.

Experts say stand-alone ATMs at stores or in parking lots are the most enticing targets for the thieves, as are drive-up ATMs.

"Whenever we come up with a way to figure out how to thwart it, then the crooks can figure out how to zig past that zag," says SDSU Fowler College of Business Lecturer Steven Andres.

Andres says the best thing people can do is avoid using cards altogether. Andres says to use apps like Apple Pay, which don't send any bank information during transactions.

"They don't actually send your real credit card number to the vendor that you're working with. Instead, a random number gets sent that's only valid for that transaction at that vendor on that minute of the day. So in the future if that vendor has their computer system hacked, that number's completely worthless," Andres says.

Otherwise, Andres says to use a credit card instead of a debit card, that way you can dispute a charge and not have to wait for the stolen money to be put back in your account.

He also advises people to stay away from drive-up ATMs where it's more difficult to cover your PIN as you type it in.