In May, a Florida man did just that. His bank's ATM looked wrong. He tugged on a part that looked loose -- and it came off in his hand. It was a skimming device. His "paranoia" allowed police to shut down that particular operation a mere 10 minutes after it had been set up, thus saving any number of people from being scammed.
The BBB also recommends shielding the keyboard with a hand or other object as you type in your PIN, even if no one else is around. The cameras used to capture the PINs can be small and hard to spot. But a skimming device that doesn't also have the PIN won't allow the criminals to get too far.
In addition, you should scan your bank statements for charges you don't recognize. Since most banks' fraud departments have gotten good at spotting strange charges, be sure your bank issuers have a reliable way to reach you -- even if you are traveling -- so they can call and confirm anything that looks suspicious.
If you ever lose your ATM card, notify the bank immediately. According to an article on this topic at Bankrate.com, "If you notify the bank within two days of discovering the card was lost or stolen, your loss is limited to $50. After two days, this amount jumps to $500, and after 60 days of receiving the statement with the fraudulent charges, your loss may be unlimited."
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