Would you trust this ATM?

questionable_atm.jpgSitting alone, at the edge of the stripmall at the northeast corner of LaBrea & Sunset. Its within a couple dozen feet of a Burger King to the left, and a Starbucks to the right. Convenient to any number of crackheads, tranny hookers, and Swedish tourists that frequent the area.

The ATM machine has been sitting there for at least a couple weeks. I believe the tagging on it marks it as completely safe, but my graffiti translation is a little shaky.

Also suspicious: above the ATM is a sign saying that the publicly accessible strip mall parking lot is “Closed the public. No entry without permission.” After reading that, I’ll be sure never to patronize the stores there without an invite.

Three Tips to Avoid Being Conned by Fake or Rigged ATM Machines

1. Keep an eye out for machines that may have been modified with an extra, external card skimmer. If it has two apparent places to insert a card, and one is taped off or another say “scan here first,” avoid the machine like the plague.

2. Avoid using external, non-bank attached machines altogether. Is the “convenience fee” ever worth it to begin with? If you’re stuck owing money for a couple lap dances too many, try and wait for some other sucker to use the ATM machine before you to confirm it works, and isn’t just copying your card info and pin.

3. If an ATM machine doesn’t spit out promised cash, feel inside the deposit slot in case some conartist rigged with a “cash trap” sleeve of some sort. If no camera are nearby you may be able to make off with your cash along with untold amounts of suckers who used the machine before you (and then run like hell – the con artists may be lingering nearby). If cameras are around, or no cash is found, immediately call your bank and notify them of the suspicious activity.

More tips at Scambusters and Love to Know, or watch this clip by the Real Hustle Gang on TruTV as they show how easy it is to be fooled by fake ATM machines.

Please note, I have no evidence that the pictured ATM machine is a con of any sort.

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