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Sensei Gary Simpson
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Zen Garden > How to Protect Yourself from the Latest ATM and Credit Card Fraud Tricks that Will Rob You Blind

If you think that you are "relatively safe" withdrawing money at an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) then think again. Discover how to PROTECT yourself from the latest criminal fraud techniques.

If there is ONE thing that I truly detest it is unscrupulous con-artists and thieves trying to defraud honest people just going about their daily business.

The latest fraudulent practises to hit Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are:

  1. - a small device inserted into the card slot that physically traps your credit card
  2. - the addition of a tiny camera alongside or above the ATM to record your credit card number and Personal Identification Number (PIN)

Let's look at how these criminals are getting away with your card and/or your personal details:


A thin piece of rigid film, usually in the form of a section of x-ray film, is cut and shaped then inserted into the area where you insert your card. It is shaped in such a way that a small "sleeve" traps the card and prevents it from being returned to you.

Obviously, the people who design these traps have some sort of working knowledge of the machines themselves.

If your card is "swallowed" by the ATM it may be a machine fault. However, it may also be the work of a fraudster who will invariably be lurking nearby, possibly waiting for you to leave.

Be particularly wary if this happens outside banking hours.

Check to see if you can locate a small slip of clear plastic or x-ray film located around the lip of the machine. If so, removing that will also remove your credit card.

If you cannot see anything, pretend to leave the area and see who makes a "beeline" to the ATM. Note, this may place you in danger if the con-artist is violent. Be particularly suspicious if anybody just happens to turn up to "assist" you.

That person could very well be your thief. He or she may then use their body to block your view and then, in a deft movement, palm your credit card into their pocket.


Mini camera devices are now being concealed and used to record numbers entered at the ATM.

Be particularly suspicious if a plastic brochure holder is placed near the keypad. Banks will not place anything near an ATM. Such an object will be fitted with a lens and a small recording device all shielded and cunningly camouflaged by official bank pamphlets - stolen, of course, from the bank itself.

Look for anything that is not a NORMAL part of the machine. Be aware also of roof mounted devices. These can be taped directly above the ATM with the lens eye pointing downward.

A good way to beat this trick is to mask your keystrokes with your other hand.


Keep your wits about you at all ATM's. Never use one outside banking hours. If you are alone you are also at the risk of being mugged AFTER you get your money. Be alert.

Here is a big tip - be on the lookout for ANY person lurking nearby, especially if they are wearing a hat, sunglasses and a collar turned up. Such a person is making himself or herself difficult to recognize in the event that they themselves are filmed by security cameras.

Credit card fraud is an increasing crime. Be wary of these warnings and you will seriously reduce your chance of becoming a victim.

About the author: Gary Simpson is the author of eight books covering a diverse range of subjects such as self esteem, affirmations, self defense, finance and much more. His articles appear all over the web. Gary's email address is Click here to go to his Motivation & Self Esteem for Success website where you can receive his "Zenspirational Thoughts" plus an immediate FREE copy of his highly acclaimed, life-changing e-book "The Power of Choice."

Gary Simpson is a 7th Dan karate master who teaches self defense, motivation, self help and wealth building to students around the world through home study courses. You may reprint this article as you include this author credit and an active link to his web site.

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