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Ask Sid

How Can I Tell if a 'Skimmer' Has Been Put on My ATM?

Some tips to protect yourself from identity thieves

It can be hard. These devices that thieves attach to the card slot in order to capture account information from your card's magnetic strip have become more sophisticated. One tipoff: Most ATMs have a flashing light at the card slot. If the light is obscured, that's a sign of tampering. Other giveaways: a card slot that is not securely attached or has a different color than the rest of the ATM. Use ATMs in bank lobbies and other places with 24-hour video surveillance. And always cover the keypad as you enter your PIN, because a thief's spy camera may be watching.

You may also like: What's the best way to fight identity theft? >>

Sid Kirchheimer writes about health and consumer issues. Have a question for Sid Kirchheimer about a new product, a new kind of bank account? Check out the Ask Sid archive. If you don’t find your answer there, send a query.

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