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ATM scam affects thousands

Thousands of ATM/debit cards had to be closed and reissued last weekend (Jan. 23-25) after there was a potential PIN compromise, according to an alert issued by Financial Services’ Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

The approximately 8,500 Louisiana cards in question were compromised by a fraud scheme that has impacted financial institutions in several states along the I-10 corridor.

Financial Services offered several skimming scam prevention strategies to eliminate future incidents.

• Use secure ATM machines – under video surveillance or inside of a bank lobby. They’re less likely to be tampered with. Thieves have to take more risk installing skimmers where there are security cameras.

• Cover the ATM keypad as you’re entering your PIN — just in case there’s a hidden camera around.

• Skimming devices will stick out a few extra inches from an ATM. If something looks suspicious, find another ATM. Don’t fall for a poor fitting device (or a sticker or sign that says “Swipe Here First”, or “Use This Machine Only”).

• If a machine keeps your card, call the bank immediately and report it.

• Don’t accept “help” from anybody hanging around the ATM machine. They may say they were having trouble also and you just need to enter your PIN again.

• Keep your eyes on your card if you have any doubts. Don’t let a merchant walk off with your card — even for a few seconds.