Bill Intended To Prevent ATM Scammers

Feb 27, 2017

Assembly Financial Institutions Committee votes to advance the measure.
Credit Phil Gregory

New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would require operators of publicly accessible payment and withdrawal machines to inspect them every day to make sure a skimming device hasn’t been installed on them.

Assemblyman Dan Benson is one of the sponsors of the measure. He says consumers might not be able to tell if an ATM had a skimmer that could be used to steal their personal information and empty their bank account.

“That’s why we want the experts to maintain these machines, that are operating the machines, to get the training they need to know what to look for and on a regular basis make sure those devices have not been installed on their machines.”

Mary Ellen Peppard with the New Jersey Food Council believes the measure goes too far and would be a burden for retailers.

“It would be applied to every machine that has a pin pad. So basically every register, every time we would go and swipe a debit card or a credit card. Our stores could have 20 or 30 of them per store, plus an ATM, plus a fuel pump.”

New Jersey Bankers Association executive vice president Michael Affuso believes the bill should be amended to focus on unmanned machines.

“Generally identity theft occurs with the skimming devices at machines that are in the back of a store, etc., not at bank site where there are employees going in and out, and as a general rule bank employees generally inspect the machines twice a day.”