A phony card slot installed over the real one scans information from an entered card's magnetic stripe, and a small camera hidden within adjacent pamphlet holder records information from the ATM's display screen and keyboard. The pilfered information is sent via a wireless transmitter to waiting thieves, who can capture it on a laptop from up to 200 meters away. The TV show CSI, fourth season, featured the 'accidental' capture of a criminal using this method. The criminal was creating duplicate cards with the PIN information and taking tens of thousands of dollars in a day.
The older card skimming methods include the physical theft of the debit card after personal observation of the PIN. For credit cards, only the card information needs to be stolen.
One type of skimmer uses a fake facade over part of, or the entire ATM face and includes a card reader. Instructions tell the customer to swipe the card, enter their PIN and then flashes a screen that thanks them, but explains that there has been a malfunction. The data is recorded. The Diebold S.A.F.E. proposal will detect this intrusion on the newer machines, what would a retrofit cost?
A very small (1 inch by 4 inch) device is added to an ATM, instructing cardholders to swipe cards through additional reader for 'security purposes' before performing a transaction. An alternative sign says 'Card Cleaner.' ATM Skimmers can be virtually unnoticeable by cardholders, especially if they are not familiar with the machine.
Newer electronics do not require the wireless transmitter to be close to the keypad to capture the PIN number, the camera can be 10 feet away with an additional lens and see just fine, the next generation camera will use higher frequencies (5.8GHZ) and will be more difficult to detect. A device to be concerned with is the DVR (Digital Video Recorder), which will capture the motion of a hand and only record when motion is detected. Same with the Card Swipe Recorder. An Anti-Skimming device must be able to detect BOTH transmitter and non-transmitter (recorder) in the ATM vicinity.