Business: Scam: Financial
ATM card cleaner scam   (+1, -2)  [vote for, against]
Cleans their card all right

Probably been already done but haven’t heard of this method. Stems from my original idea (to be entered later as this idea is better or at least more fun) of a: “Credit Card restorer” that can restore a weak magnetic strip.

The thief attaches a device to the ATM that appears to be of banks origin (same style and colors and bank logo on it). This device is labeled: “Bank's name” Credit Card Cleaner. In fact this device just records your magnetic data which is transmitted wirelessly to a nearby receiver or PDA.

Now the thief stills needs the PIN number. Some options here in increasing technology:

1) Shoulder surf the number as the patron enters on the PIN pad.

2) Affix a “safety mirror” that really allows a thief with binoculars or a camera to record the pin number.

3) The credit card cleaner or another device affixed to machine will record the key presses.

This could be an electronic panel/sheet with cutouts for the ATMs keypad. The device senses the button motions by either sensing the vibration/pressure as keys are pressed or detecting the buttons motion with switch sensors or the detection of reflection of a silver dot painted on the sides of the button. Or a complete button overlay/plastic membrane on top of existing keyboard. It's also possible to pick ups the electical signal, or computer processing change that is generated when a switch contact is made and determine which key (like the CIA/Russian spy device that can pick up what you type on a computer keyboard without a physical connection).
-- Widgit, Apr 17 2005

ATM Fraud scam Halfbakery idea ATM_20Fraud_20scam
See for related commentary and links [Widgit, Apr 17 2005]

random, halfbakery