ATMs are a lot more convenient for the everyday consumer to withdraw cash they may need in a few minutes or hours. Definitely more convenient than having to visit a bank to withdraw cash. This, unfortunately, also makes it easy for ATM skimmers to commit financial fraud.
ATM skimmers are devices that are attached to the card slot of ATMs, and criminals use these skimmers to read the magnetic stripe of the card. This gives the criminal access to cards used at ATMs they have placed skimmers on and they now have access to financial information that can be used or sold in marketplaces. This is the biggest problems that plague ATMs as skimmers are getting smaller and more advanced, which make them harder to spot and detect.
Skimmers are not only for ATMs though. They are also common on gas pumps that accept cards. Because of the consumer push for self service, these machines are convenient, but its drawbacks are that they are not as heavily monitored as actual banks or convenience stores. The police force do monitor potential places for ATM skimmers, but that is usually not enough time for the police to find every skimmer before customers are skimmed.
To prevent your financial information from getting stolen, it is best to take precautions before entering your card in a card slot. One simple test to see if there is a skimmer is to wiggle the card slot, and if it is flimsy, there are chances it may be a skimmer. If this happens, simply contact the ATM owner and verify whether or not it is part of the ATM machine before using more force.
There are always going to be criminals in the world, and you may feel safe, there are many sophisticated ways criminals can target you. Make sure to keep your ATM use to a minimum by double checking if there are skimmers on the ATM and do your tests.