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Mexican ATM Scam Warning

Posted on October 17, 2015 Security Center 0 comments

Security experts have recently discovered a scam in which hackers are retrofitting ATMs in a number of tourist destinations along Mexico's Caribbean coast with devices that can wirelessly steal card data and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). As such, United Heritage is strongly discouraging members from using ATMs in Mexico.

Scammers in Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel are installing small, sophisticated devices called skimmers inside numerous ATMs. These skimmers are able to read and store data from cards that have been inserted into the compromised ATMs.

Most scams involving skimmers are detectable because traditional skimmers attach to the outside of an ATM. Because the skimmers in this scam are installed inside the machine – possibly as a result of a scammer bribing an ATM technician for access – cardholders won't have any indication the ATM they're using is compromised. 

Regardless of where you are, it's always a good idea to be cautious when using an ATM. To minimize the chances that your card data will be stolen, make sure to do the following during ATM transactions:

  • Maintain an awareness of your surroundings during your ATM transaction.
  • Do not use an ATM that looks unusual or offers choices not usually offered.
  • Make sure to keep your transaction receipt.
  • Monitor your credit union statements and share balances closely.
  • Immediately report any charges you believe are fraudulent to UHCU by calling 512.435.4545, 903.597.7484 or 800.531.2328.
For more detailed information on the ATM scam in Mexico, check out Krebs on Security's post regarding the scam here.

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