Credit Diagnosis Urges Members to Keep Their Guard Up at ATM Machines

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Credit Diagnosis Says, "Watch it!" as ATM Thefts Increase

Credit Diagnosis Says, "Watch it!"

Let us clean the magnetic stripe on debit card.

Credit Diagnosis (SM), a leading security and privacy membership program from Adaptive Marketing LLC®, notes that thefts at ATMs are growing at an alarming rate. And typical of this crime, unsuspecting people need to fear more brains than brawn. Most modern ATM thefts aren't committed by a big scary guy with a gun or other weapon (although those do still happen); instead, ATMs are often rigged by computer-savvy thieves to send that hard-earned money elsewhere, essentially cleaning out the ATM user's account. And far worse, rigged machines are being used to swipe identities, too.

It's become much more difficult to tell a safe ATM from a bogus one. And a lot of those same computer hackers have figured out ways to steal not only money, but also other important personal information from those machines; their clever and financially destructive tricks aren't limited to the online arena. Credit Diagnosis knows this all too well, and they want to provide users with some "watch its," some tricks and tips to avoid turning a would-be withdrawal from an ATM into a cash (and information) deposit in some thief or scam artist's personal checking account.

-- Skim off the top. Too many unsuspecting ATM users think their personal identification number (PIN) will protect them against theft -- provided that only they know the number. ATM thieves are highly skilled in using "skimmers," basically electronic devices that can be hidden in an ATM (and any other kind of payment slot where a PIN is required -- like at a gas station). Acting as a decoder of sorts, the skimmer reads and records all the account information that's electronically stored on an ATM card's magnetic strip. To beat the scammers at their own game, Credit Diagnosis suggests sticking a pinky into the ATM slot. If any part of the slot wiggles (if the slot doesn't feel secure, for example -- if it feels like there's something "extra" in and around the slot), consider walking away.

-- The numbers don't lie. According to statistics provided by Stamford, CT-based information technology research and advisory company Gartner Incorporated, ATM skimming may be getting worse. Recent numbers indicate that among the more than three million ATM scam victims annually, the average amount lost is just shy of $1,000. And those are just cash amounts; ID theft carries plenty of emotional loss as well.

-- Surf's always up, and hooks are in the water. When visiting ATMs: Be watchful of those looking to "sneak a peak" at how PIN numbers are keyed in and be cautious of those machines that claim, "Let us clean the magnetic stripe on debit card."

-- Don't read the fine print. Get in the habit of visiting familiar ATMs -- ones that are attached to reputable and trustworthy banks. Also, don't use ATMs that feature any kind of signage. If ATMs have signs or messages affixed to them (e.g., "Let us make getting cash easier"), go elsewhere.

When it comes to safe banking at ATM machines and sound credit practices in general, follow these helpful tips, advises Credit Diagnosis.

About Credit Diagnosis

Credit Diagnosis is a leading membership discount program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC®. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Adaptive Marketing is a category leader in membership programs, bringing value direct to consumers through an array of benefits in healthcare, discounts, security, personal property and personals. Members may access their benefits at CreditDiagnosis.com. With broad online and offline distribution capabilities, Adaptive Marketing offers its corporate client partners effective tools to enhance market presence, strengthen customer affinity and generate additional value through programs such as CreditDiagnosis.

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