living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand – Secure Transactions: 5 tips for avoiding hacked ATMs


Via: Bangkok – Coconuts

A wave of ATM skimming has hit Bangkok, and the security issues are prompting some serious insecurity about using cash machines.

More than USD1 billion ($1,000,000 000!!!) ,is stolen by ATM hackers each year, a crime known as “skimming.” Typically this is achieved by hiding a scanner inside the ATM which records your card information and PIN number as you enter it. That information is sent to the hackers, who then use it to siphon money from your account.


Number 1. Use ATMs in public places

Most of the recent instances of ATM skimming have occurred inside office buildings, where they might be accessible to thieves for modification at night, during off hours or slow times of the day. If an ATM appears to be in a lonely location or just looks a little suspicous, look for another in a high-traffic area.

NOTE 1: I live in Thailand, and I have a Thai bank ATM card. 

You can call me a ‘sissy’ if you want, but I never use my card at say a 7-11, or a ATM kiosk like shown. Instead  I only use my card, at MY bank, during banking hours.


Number 2. Check for hidden cameras or card-slot covers

Skimmers usually install a device over the card slot to steal information from your card, as in the picture above. Also, they frequently place a hidden camera somewhere near the machine to visually record your PIN.


Number 3. Look for strange or additional attachments to the ATM

Look for any plastic at the top of the machine, especially of a different color. Anything, however innocent, that looks like it is part of the ATM could hold a small camera. Use one hand to cover the keys as you enter your PIN.


Number 4. Study the instructions and diagrams

Some thieves will go so far as to recreate the entire front of an ATM so they can hide scanning equipment inside. Most of these are quite good, but we know spelling and grammar may not rank high in their skill sets. If the machine reads “Innsert cad hear,” you might consider another machine.


Number 5. Tap the card slot

Again, the most common method of skimming is to place a false card slot over the real one. Go ahead and give it a jiggle. If it is loose, find another machine.



IF you feel you might have been ripped off, I suggest you call your bank IMMEDIATELY so they can check to see if there are any suspicious transactions. If there are, they will close your account, which is a ‘good thing’. The bad thing is, it might take a week or more before you receive your new card.


I strongly suggest you have a ‘backup plan’ just in case,  (See above).


November 15, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: