I’m going to boldly state that skimming is the most lucrative fraud you can do by yourself. If you have the equipment and the courage then you can make several million dollars in untraceable cash in a single year. The risk of getting caught is low if you use common sense, and that’s what I’m setting out to address, along with a few tips, so here goes:
First and foremost,
Before you do anything, you need to find the right machine. This machine should be in an area where you can watch it without looking awfully suspicious. If you don’t have access to pinpad overlays then you’re going to have to use a panel. In this case you’re going to need a machine where the top (usually where the banks logo is) protrudes enough.
So the pinhole from the panel you mount can see the pinpad. Make sure you can reach this high too. Lastly, whenever you look at the machine then make sure it has a flat or slightly slanted pinpad that a panel can see. Some ATM developers have wised up and put the pinpads flat, but going up and down. I avoid these personally, but if you have a pinpad overlay then you’ll be fine.
What is an ATM skimmer? ATM skimmers are most commonly bezel overlays with readers attached and hidden inside of them. If you look at any ATM you will see the card insert. The card insert itself and the piece housing it is called a bezel. A bezel overlay is virtually identical except it’s slightly bigger. And hollowed out for a card reader to fit inside of it while still looking as though it belongs on the machine.
Inside of the bezel overlay you need to attach a reader. A basic card reader should last 20-30 days nonstop before it dies and store tens-of-thousands of cards. These readers record your track data and store them. You need to physically retrieve them and use a cable to download the information in order to review the track data.
A GSM skimmer serves the same purpose except it sends the track data to a phone number of your choice. This is the preferred method because you don’t need to go back to the ATM to get paid in the event LE is staking it out. You should always encrypt your readers in the event anyone else recognizes what it is and tries to steal it. In this case they’ll be left with a useless electronic.
Watching: Almost everyone who’s new to this wants to leave it on the machine and walk away and retrieve it in a few hours. I can’t stress this enough – do not do this or you will be caught eventually. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do a stake out and it’s not uncommon for LE to leave your skimmer on the machine. So you believe nobody has found it and they’ll bust you when you retrieve it.
The absolute only case where you can do this is if you don’t plan on returning to the area and you have both a GSM skimmer. And a GSM pinpad overlay that you’ve tested beforehand. Keep in mind, though, that if you leave a skimmer. And never retrieve it then it will be found eventually and subsequently end up on the news 9 out of 10 times. Once it ends up on the news then they’ll advise everyone to watch out for skimmers and you’ll have a more difficult time skimming in that general area because people will become paranoid. So again, don’t do this unless you don’t plan to return to the area in general.
What to Look For:
When watching your ATM you need to read peoples body language. If someone starts pulling on it a lot or starts looking up at your panel then this is suspicious. Most people never look up. Think about the last time you just start gazing up right above you for no apparent reason – it rarely happens. If someone makes multiple passes by the ATM then that’s suspicious. If you’re watching your ATM and a car parks across the way (or even by you) and nobody gets out for a long time then that’s suspicious. Just use common sense.
In most of the cases (if you suspect someone has discovered it) it’s best to try to pull it off as quickly as you can, if you can, especially if you don’t have a GSM skimmer. People don’t generally stick around very long. It’s also wise to have a handheld police scanner with you and I’ve even thought about placing a mini-microphone inside my bezel overlay. If someone suspects it’s a skimmer then they’ll call the number on the machine and/or the police. You can hear them if you have a microphone and you’ll hear the call go out to LE if you have a handheld scanner.
Weekends – Saturday night, Sunday at lunch and dinner will be the most lucrative. Weekdays – 6-10pm if the bank closes at 5pm. If it closes at 6 (like on Fridays) then I recommend starting at 7.
Banks expect you to do this on a weekend more than a weekday. The reason I recommend starting an hour late is because I’ve been surprised a few times. Sometimes bank employees will forget something and come back and other times they’ll just stick around chit-chatting. These are your peak times so you should be generating upwards of $4,000-5,000 per hour in a nice area. I personally stick to peak times because I’m taking personal risk by doing this, so I want the most reward for my risk.
It’s the winter time so you’re all in luck. Use a sock hat to cover your hair/ears, some sunglasses to cover your eyes/eyebrows, and a scarf because it’s cold, but also because you can pull it up when you get near the machine and conceal your nose/mouth/chin. You’re not going to get identified from your forehead and a little cheek skin. I’ve seen cases in the summer where this isn’t practical. The solution for that is a professional Hollywood-style mask. Try SPFX or CFX.
These masks can run between $800-2,000, but somebody standing next to you can’t tell you’re wearing one. What you shouldn’t do is just wear a baseball cap and sunglasses. You will get identified by wearing this if you skim in your area because the snapshot from the camera will end up on the news and somebody will identify you. I’ve seen too many news reports like this, so please take my advice and avoid doing it. Right now is the best time to skim because it’s winter and you’re easily concealed. Make some cash now, buy some masks, and set yourself up for the rest of the year.
Alone vs Partner:
Both have their benefits. Alone means that nobody in this world knows you’re doing it and if you use common sense you’re nearly impossible to catch. A partner has their benefit, but only if they’re fully trusted, because you can use bluetooth under your sockhat so they can tell you if anyone is about to drive up/walk up on you.
Placing the skimmer:
Whenever you walk up to an ATM then remember that millions of people use ATM’s every single day. You’re just walking up to one, nothing else. Park your car several blocks away and walk to your location. I say this because once the bank realizes it’s been skimmed then the Secret Service will get involved and pull the cameras not only from the bank, but sometimes from the surrounding area. Your bezel overlay should fit perfectly over the bezel itself and it should be hollowed out enough so your reader fits comfortable in it. I recommend using super glue because paranoid people tend to pull on every bezel they come across. Use an L shape on all 4 corners, but leave a space in the middle of these L’s so you can get a small flathead screw driver underneath it to pop it off. Once the seal on super glue is broken then the it will come off without much hassle.
Making a panel:
You can use plastic u channel’s to make my panels. They’re open on the ends so if you go this route then you need to find an ATM where the top hangs down enough so you can slide your panel between the sides. Before you make a panel then you need to measure the distance between the machine so you can cut it to size. Sand it down if there are any marks on the u channel, then match up the color and paint it (if anyone has tips of paint matching then feel freee to share because I’ve found this to be the most difficult part). Drill a pinhole in it in the area that will be sitting above the pinpad.
Cameras for panels and aligning:
I’ve only used one camera in my ventures because it’s always worked. It’s less than an inch high and it’s small enough to fit inside a gum pack. You use a MicroSD card with it and it generally lasts 4-5 hours. Just search for a thumb gum camera and it should be black and very small and under $40. Aligning the camera with your pinhole can be a pain. The best trick I’ve found is to use a knitting pin with a rounded end (make sure it’s not jagged, you don’t want to scratch the camera lens).
Push this through the hole of your panel and make it sit inside the tiny “bowl” that houses the camera (basically press it against the camera lens – the one I have is the same size so it fits), push the camera down until it reaches the panel and let the knitting pin fall out. Test it to make sure you’re aligning it properly. It also helps to pack the sides of your panel around your camera with something to keep it from moving while you’re aligning. —- if anyone has any other tips on aligning then feel freee to share, because as I said, this is a pain.
Take your panel with your camera and the bezel overlay and do a dry run. Neither the panel with a camera nor a bezel overlay by itself are illegal to have by themselves. So test them both out to make sure your camera is able to see the pinpad and the bezel overlay fits comfortably. This also helps because you can figure out the quickest way to slide the bezel overlay on for the big day.
Placing the panel:
I also recommend super glue for placing the panel, but not as much as the bezel overlay. These can be slightly difficult to get off, but the same principle applies. Make sure you leave empty spaces so you can get a small flathead screw driver in it to pry it off.
Retrieving the skimmer:
This is by far the most risky time of the entire operation and where watching the ATM pays off. If you’ve been watching your ATM and nothing seemed out of the ordinary then you should be good, but you should still check around to make sure you don’t see any unmarked police cars. Don’t walk straight from the spot you’ve been hanging out at over to the ATM.
As I said, if the Secret Service pulls the cameras from the surrounding area and they pay enough attention then that can see you. Walk around and come up to the ATM another way wearing your disguise. Use the small screw driver to slide it into the side of the bezel overlay when nobody is around and pop it off. Put it in your pocket. This is where coats with pockets on the inside come in handy too.
Now take your screw driver and pop off your panel. Reach inside the panel and yank out the camera and put this in your pocket as well. I generally use a shopping bag from a hardware store I brought with me in my pocket. (one that’s not entirely transparent). And place the panel inside it with some other stuff so it looks like I’ve been shopping. Walk away and when you get closer to your car then change your disguise a little – wear a reversible sockhat, for instance. Take off your sunglasses and your scarf. Wear a reversible jacket but make sure your skimmer or camera don’t fall out when you’re changing it.
There’s nothing suspicious about withdrawing money from an ATM in general. Just don’t stand at an ATM and withdraw 20 cards at once on a busy street – this looks suspicious if anyone is paying attention. I generally withdraw 5-10 cards and move on to another machine. If you have an excessive amount (100 for example), then I would personally do it at several difference machines and drop off my money every so often. Having 100 cards and/or $40,000 in your truck is enough for LE to get suspicious if you get pulled over.
You should also use your disguise while doing this. The odds are that this will be the picture of you they post up on the news because it’s the easiest to obtain (vs guessing when you might’ve put on the skimmer/removed it and where). Likewise, you should park your car several blocks away and walk to/from the ATMs you use. This may be a hassle if you hit up several machines, but you’re going to have $10’s of thousands of dollars in your hands very shortly. Do it right and you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts.
In wealthy areas you should average $400 per card. Generally you can expect 6-12 cars/people go through an ATM per hour. At peak times this should be 9-12 per hour. In a single hour you can make $4,000-$5,000. In 4-5 hours you can make $16,0000-20,000 on average. These are numbers based on my experience.
This is surely a lot of reading, but if you guys have anything else you want to know then ask and I’ll answer it. If it needs tightened up then I can do that too. I also have a skimmer dealer that I use and I’m willing to swap him for a carding method – just PM me. If you guys feel that this or I myself have helped you then I would greatly appreciate some karma
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