United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
U.S. Attorney Durkan Warns Seniors Of ATM Skimming And ID Theft At ‘Scam Jam’
U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan joined consumer advocates and other state and federal officials to educate senior citizens on ways to protect themselves against fraud. Speaking to more than 300 senior citizens, Durkan shared tips on how to avoid being a victim of “skimming.” Criminal groups “skim” personal banking and credit card information by placing small device readers and pin-hole cameras on ATM or credit card machines to steal account information. Over the past year, multiple skimming rings have been prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Washington.
A victim of skimming herself, Durkan spoke from personal experience when she told the seniors to “Stop, Cover, and Shake.” Stop and look around the ATM before you use it to see if there are any suspicious people around, or telltale signs that a camera has been secretly installed in a newly placed brochure holder or other unusual fixture. Cover the keypad with one hand while you use the other one to type in your PIN number – that way no one or no camera can record your PIN. And Shake the plastic sleeve where you insert your card – those installed for skimming likely will come off or you might feel glue around the base where a criminal has installed it. Finally, Durkan encouraged the seniors to always check their bank and credit card statements carefully for any unusual charges and report them to the bank immediately.
“SCAM JAM” is sponsored by the American Association of Retired People (AARP), the Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors and the Senior Medical Patrol. The event is intended for seniors and people with disabilities, as well as for people whose work touches these individuals.