How it works:
- Situation: the vast majority of tourists would probably not fall for this but on the off-chance that you do, you need to know how to spot the red flags.
- Version 1 (ATM): card skimmer installed to capture your card details, pinhole camera/keypad over installed to capture your PIN.
- Version 2 (ATM): card slot is rigged with a device to trap your card. When you find your card stuck, scammer tells you to type your PIN thrice to eject it. This is false – a trick to see your PIN. If you head somewhere to seek help, the scammer will release your card and escape.
- Version 3 (fake ATMs): there are scammers who buy and refit a retired ATM machine for not more than 100k Rubles – a mere USD 1.5k.
Places to beware:
- St. Petersburg
What to do:
- Where: use ATMs at controlled environments (e.g. banks).
- Scan: the area for suspicious looking characters and red flags of a rigged ATM.
- Cover: your PIN while typing.
- Notify: set up SMS notification when a transaction is processed on your card.
- Bank account: use a separate bank account just for traveling and change your PIN after your trip as scammers can still strike some time after your trip if they have your details.