Consumer Report - Private ATM's
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Thread: Consumer Report - Private ATM's

  1. #1
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Consumer Report - Private ATM's

    I recieved this warning in an email this morning.
    It was forwarded to me, so I don't have a source.
    I just figured I'd share the wealth...

    Use Private ATMs At Your Own Risk

    Card Information Stored In ATM Until Downloaded

    Tracy Davidson, NBC 10 Consumer Reporter
    When you use your bank card at an automatic teller machine, you could be dealing with a high security bank or you could be entrusting your account information to a thief.

    Stefanie Trumpler purchased $10 worth of gas from a gas station. But when she received her bank statement, she had been charged more than $500.

    "She gave me the receipt for $10 and I signed off on it. But when I got my bank statement, there were deductions of a $100, $100, $100 ... this went on for three days," said Stefanie Trumpler. "I could not believe they actually did this with my card, and I couldn't figure out how they did it."

    It is not such a mystery to New York District Attorney Richard Brown. He says his office sees a growing amount of similar cases, all involving private ATM machines, the ones without a bank affiliation.

    "These private ATMs are popping up all over the place. They're in convenience stores and shopping malls, Laundromats and beauty parlors," Brown said.

    According to Brown, the machines' owners have more authority than you may think.

    "When you go to a drive-in gas pump and you swipe your card through, the information is captured. It doesn't go to the credit card company. It stays in the machine," Brown said.

    At the end of the day, the merchant transfers the data. That's when an unscrupulous employee could get access to your account information. When Stephanie brought her complaint to the owner of the gas station, the problem was traced to a recently vanished employee.

    The station owner found the cards that were compromised, contacted the customers and credited more than a $1,000 to their accounts.

    It was an expensive lesson for an employer and an important warning for consumers.

    "I'd walk the extra couple of blocks to go to a bank where I'm reasonably sure and secure that my card is not going to be compromised," Brown recommended.

    The Consumer Alert bottom line is that you should use caution when using a private ATM, or don't use it at all. Also, you should always check your bank and credit card statements carefully.
    Oh, I did find a couple of articles that are similar and the exact source of this.
    False ATMs
    Exact article
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Hmm, it seems uneccessary to keep that data on the machine..., its got to verify that your card is valid and has enough money for the transaction in the first place, seems like not only is the consumer running a risk with those machines, but so is the vender. Though I can see the possible reasoning behind that kind of thing is that it makes the call to authenticate, then sends its logs to the vender for their records.
    I remember hearing in training to work at a gas station that they once had an entire ATM stolen out from underneath the clerks nose (he left it unattended while checking for unexpired milk in the back and it wasn't found missing until days later...) The only thing missing from it when they found it was the cash and it was damaged beyond repair, but imagine if those thiefs were a little more tech-savy, that chain of gas-stations could have had serious problems if the numbers had been jacked too...

    I've read that ATMs are about the only machines still running OS/2..., I doubt that still holds true, I wonder what runs un them now...

    Enough streaming thought from me,
    Dhej
    The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of dusk. -Hegel

  3. #3
    Senior Member ShippMA's Avatar
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    Over here in the UK Natwest uses windows NT. I think Loyds TSB does aswell but i couldn't be sure. I know this because we had a number of brief power outages at my university, campus wide (I think over 15 in the night) anyway as i was walking home past the on campus banks and the power went again and i noticed the cash machines reseting, i stood and watched to see what happened on load. Can't remember how they loaded as i was drunk but Natwest was definetly NT.
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