Cardless ATMs might not be hackproof

Tampa, Florida -- 10 News is learning about new technology that's already been compromised and it hasn't even been fully launched yet. Cardless ATMs are being tested by three banks, but thieves have already discovered ways to wipe out your bank account, even if you're not using the new technology.

A few weeks ago Daniel "Motown" Jefferson of Tampa, a small business owner and father, was stunned to learn someone went to an ATM and stole $300 from his checking account. "It is very troublesome to me because in my mind I really didn't understand how they did it," he said.

SunTrust bank, he said, told him whoever took the cash used a cardless ATM machine in Miami and used his debit card number and pin number. "I don't give my number out to anyone. Who would do such a thing? So I didn't even understand how they pulled it off," Jefferson said.

Information Technology Security expert, Stu Sjouwerman, is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4 in Clearwater. His company alerts businesses to the latest cybercrime tactics. He gives cardless ATMs a thumbs down. "There's always a way to hack something," he said.

It's like using a remote control for the ATM. You log into a mobile app and indicate how much money you want from your account. You enter your PIN and you're able to withdraw it within seconds without sticking your debit card into the machine. Your phone communicates with the ATM.

But Sjouwerman says the technology isn't worth it because crooks are setting up tiny cameras, internal skimmers, that capture your card number and pin when you use the standard ATM machines. Thieves turn around and use that info at cardless ATMs which is what happened to Jefferson.

Sjouwerman says there's one thing you can do when entering your pin number at a standard ATM. He says you should always use your hand to cover it up. "Because that will prevent the bad guys from seeing what your pin code is," he said.

Jefferson says when he shared the news of what happened on Facebook he was surprised at the response. "I probably had at least six or seven people who said they'd been attacked in the same way in the past couple of weeks - so this is running rampant," Jefferson said.

After more than a week of waiting, Jefferson's bank investigated and then credited his account for the money he lost including several hundred dollars in overdraft fees. "More than anything it makes it a big inconvenience but it makes you lose your confidence in things which is discouraging," he said.


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