First Financial Northwest Bank

Tis the season for holiday cheer, celebrations and fraud

December 28, 2021

The Puget Sound region has seen a large uptick in the number of ATM skimming devices that have been detected on bank ATM’s in the Puget sound area.  These devices are used by fraudsters to get your card information and can often be hard to detect.  Before using any ATM, please make sure you are inspecting the ATM for any suspicious attachments, wires, or pieces that look out of place.  If anything seems suspicious, please notify the bank or merchant immediately and do not use the machine.

We have also seen an increase in Point-of-Sale (POS) Terminal skimming devices, that you normally use at the grocery store or a retailer.  This is a newer fraud scheme, and the skimming devices can vary widely since there are so many different types of POS terminals.  If anything looks odd or out of place, tell the merchant and have them inspect their terminal before completing your transaction.

What is a skimming device?

A skimming device is a card reader that can be disguised to look like part of an ATM or POS terminal.  The skimming attachment collects card information so the fraudster can steal money. FFNWB recommends that you proactively monitor your account balances and transaction history by using our app or online banking platform.

How can I check for skimmers?

The most frequently used methods of skimming are used on the card reader insert area and PIN keypad area, every time you are going to use an ATM, you should check the PIN Keypad area and the Card Insert Slot area for signs of tampering.  Keep an eye out for tape or sticky residue, bulkiness around the card slot area or any loose wires or pieces on the ATM.  These are the most common signs of tampering and should be reported to the bank or merchant immediately


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