A Seattle-based bank is introducing new technology to help fight ATM skimming. HomeStreet Bank promises to roll out the security feature soon as a preventative to the issue that currently plagues many financial institutions across the country.
Prevalence Of Skimming
Skimming is being performed by criminals looking to steal credit card information by applying an interceptor atop the card reader. Back in 2008, more than $1 billion dollars was stolen by ATM thieves, but recent advancements in technology have made consumers even more susceptible to this theft. These easily-assembled skimmers quickly record pin numbers and gain access to personal bank accounts.
HomeStreet plans to combat this issue with a new feature on the bank’s mobile app. The “Cardless Cash” feature allows customers to decide how much money they would like to withdraw before inserting their card into the ATM. Patrons can then scan the area using the app to detect any sort of illegal activity. By entering a code appearing on the app, the machine will dispense the requested cash. It is a completely card inserting-free experience that could become a common practice at banks around the globe.
Skimming An Issue At Gas Stations
Last month, a skimmer was discovered at a gas station in North Carolina. A station employee was responsible for uncovering the scam that reportedly affected two customers. The skimmer was quickly removed and police responded to the alert. At the time, authorities advised patrons to look at the differences between a normal card reader and an illegal skimmer. Police also pointed out the fact that these skimmers respond to Bluetooth technology. If customers simply turn on their own Bluetooth technology, they will be able to see if there is an active device nearby – likely a skimmer. QuikTrip, a chain of gas stations located in Charlotte, has begun using alarms at each pump to alert customers of possible violations.