An example of a card skimming device at an ATM.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is urging members of the public to be extra vigilant when using ATMs and conducting Point of Sale transactions, in the wake of an increase in reports of card skimming at several commercial banks, in recent days.

An official statement from the TTPS reports that the Fraud Squad had documented over 60 reports of card skimming, between Monday 3rd August, and Wednesday 5th August 2020, with close to TT$300,000 being stolen from victims.

The TTPS explains that a skimmer is a card reader that can be disguised to look like part of an ATM. It captures customers’ information, card numbers and PIN codes, which are then replicated onto counterfeit cards.

The Fraud Squad advises that persons pay close attention to the following indicators when using ATMs to conduct transactions:

■  Tape and/or the smell of glue on any part of the ATM;

■  Bulkiness on the card insert area or the PIN keypad;

■  Anything hanging from the ATM; and

■  Loose-fitting attachments on the keypad and card insert slot.

The TTPS is advising citizens to contact the police immediately, if you believe the ATM has been tampered with, or you find any card skimming equipment attached to the machine, or you believe you are a victim of skimming.

Citizens also are being advised, as far as possible, to check their account balances regularly or sign up for instant notifications for activity on their bank accounts, to keep track of all transactions.