Ken Hinrichs

Feb 19 2019

Recent ATM Skimmer Incident


atm skimming device

Hills Bank discovered over the weekend that ATM skimmer devices were placed on two Hills Bank ATMs on different dates in January and February. The impacted ATMs are located at Hills Bank’s North Liberty location at 25 Hwy 965 N and Cedar Rapids location at 3905 Blairs Ferry Rd NE. We are continuing to investigate and are working closely with local law enforcement. This was not a breach of Hills Bank’s data systems, and no other personal or account information has been accessed.

We are in the process of identifying and notifying customers who used the ATMs during the time periods the skimmer devices were on the ATMs and will be reissuing their debit/ATM cards. Customers are not liable for unauthorized charges on their accounts, and we recommend customers closely monitor their accounts and statements for any suspicious activities and contact the bank at 1-800-445-5725 (1-800-HILLSBK) if there are any unauthorized charges or withdrawals on their accounts.

If you suspect fraud on your account, you are able to submit transaction disputes by logging in to your Hills Bank Online banking account.

Learn more about how to submit a transaction dispute via Hills Bank Online: https://vimeo.com/318212411

A skimming device is a piece of equipment attached either over or inside card readers at ATMs to illegally capture card information used to make copies of the cards, which are then used to make withdrawals. Hills Bank carefully inspects its ATMs, however fraudsters can install and remove a skimming device on any ATM within a short period of time. As a result, it is good to be cautious when using any ATM.

What should you look for when using an ATM?

Upon approaching an ATM, you can do the following to help protect your transaction:

  • Pay attention to what the card readers and keypads look like at the ATMs you frequently use. Check them over for anything that looks out of the ordinary such as unusual scratches or gouges, wires, tape residue on or near the card reader, or odd-looking equipment attached to the ATM.
  • Check for obvious signs of tampering. Common points of tampering include the top of the ATM, speakers, side of the screen, card reader, and keypad.
  • When using ATMs or PIN devices, you should always shield your PIN by placing your hand over the keypad as you enter your PIN.
  • Criminals also use card skimming devices designed to jam your card inside an ATM, and then disguise themselves as a helpful stranger who watches as you input your PIN a few times, while the card remains stuck. After you leave, the thief will remove your card and have your PIN. Be sure to carefully observe ATMs for fraudulent devices and be aware of your surroundings when conducting transactions.

What to do if you think an ATM has a skimming device installed on an ATM or your card has been compromised.

Do not use an ATM if the card reader appears to be loose or fits poorly. If you see something suspicious that you think may be an ATM skimmer, alert the business where the ATM is located. If it’s after business hours, call the local authorities.

Unfortunately, ATM skimming is a problem around the world. Hills Bank continues to monitor both local and international fraud trends to make sure we are aware of the latest scamming techniques and update our technologies to combat the changing tactics of criminals. And as always, monitor and review your account information and report any suspicious or fraudulent transactions immediately by calling us at 1-800-445-5725 (1-800-HILLSBK).

Ken Hinrichs

About Ken Hinrichs

Ken Hinrichs is Senior Vice President, Director of Electronic Banking at Hills Bank’s Operation Center in Hills, IA. He has been at Hills Bank since 1999 working with payment and delivery channels. Ken can be reached at ken_hinrichs@hillsbank.com.


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