TAMPA (FOX 13) - Earlier this year, a skimmer was found on a GTE Financial ATM in downtown Tampa, placed there just before the busy Gasparilla weekend.
Skimmers have also been found all over the Bay Area, but GTE is fighting back with new technology. It's replacing all 61 of its ATMs with supposedly skimmer-proof machines.
”There's a lot of technology within the card reader itself. The biggest change is the way you insert your card,” said GTE Chief Information Officer Chad Burney.
In the new machines, cards are inserted horizontally so skimmers can’t read the strip. Burney says trying to put a skimmer on the new machines is nearly impossible.
”If it senses any external device, this ATM essentially will shut down. It will start flashing red,” he said.
Each machine runs around $35,000 -- compared to the $50,000 or so a bank would spend on a hacked machine.
GTE's Carrollwood location is the first to go live with the new machines.
”I think it’s great. I don’t want anyone getting my money or card information,” said customer Jonathan Lopez.
GTE says scammers will, no doubt, try and beat the machine, but for now, they're behind.
”Right now we have a 12-foot wall and the only ladder to there are 11-foot. There are no known skimming devices that work on these new ATMs,” Burney continued.
GTE says all 61 of its ATMs will be replaced by the end of the summer.