RCMP Warning about new ATM scam

Update: According to my friend Justin, this is a hoax dating back a couple of years. Before I posted it I called the number below the advisory, and i got a voice message from the person it said it was supposed to be. It seemed authentic, but I guess that was part of the joke. Oh well. :-) It's still a good idea to be cautious around public ATMs.


Thanks to my Mom for forwarding me this advisory. For the sake of the original source whose name was listed below the message I'm not going to post his phone or fax number, just his name and affiliation.

  "The following advisory has been passed on to us from the local RCMP
Detachment.  Accordingly we want to pass it on to all staff as a word of
caution when using ATM machines. Thieves are putting a thin clear, rigid
plastic "sleeve" into the ATM
card slot.  When you insert your card, the machine cannot read the strip, so
it keeps asking you to re-enter your pin number.  Meanwhile, someone behind
you watches as you enter and re-enter your number.  Eventually you give up,
thinking the machine has captured your card and walk away.  The thieves then
remove the plastic sleeve complete with card, and empty your account.
  The way to avoid this is to run your finger along the card slot before you
put your card in.  The sleeve has a couple of tiny prongs that the thieves
need to get it out of the slot, and you will be able to feel them.  Law
enforcement would like as many people as possible to be aware of this scam,
so please pass this information on to your friends and family and

F.W. [Rick] Brick
Director of Human Resources
City of St. Albert"

It's always a good idea to conceal the keypads as you enter your PIN so noone can see what you're entering. I'll definitely be checking the slot for sleeves from now on. Thanks Mom!

Written on May 13, 2003