Vending Machines

A student from UNC Charlotte had their debit card information stolen when they last used a vending machine in the Atkins library, according to an online article on Reddit, "Card Info Stolen From Vending Machine Card Readers, Be Careful." The user, Sammie-Samurai, describes that they woke to find that their debit card was charged hundreds of dollars. 

The user mentions the last time they used their debit card, "The only thing I used it for yesterday (or pretty much the past week) was a vending machine in the library," said Sammi-Samurai.

It may be better to use cash instead of a debit card to ensure there isn't anything stolen in such a situation. "I will be reaching out to the number listed on the vending machine and have already contacted my bank, but I just wanted to give everybody a heads up. Be careful and only use cash in those things if you can!" said the Reddit user.

Sammi-Samurai mentions the possibility of that happening and when their information was used through the vending machine on the library's main floor near the bathrooms. 

But one user, Rawrkinss, mentions how someone may have put a skimmer on the vending machine to steal the student's card information. 

"Most of my purchases on this card were recurring ones that I had set up myself, so I don't swipe my card often. The last two swipes on this card were for campus vending machines (spanning 2-3 weeks), so I am pretty confident it was stolen from there," said Sammi-Samurai.

Niner Times spoke with Rick Torres, the Vending and ATM Program Manager, about the situation within Atkins Library. He details what he understood from the Reddit article posted. 

"To my knowledge, nothing has been confirmed that a vending machine card reader on our campus was the cause of a compromised payment card," said Torres. "When I heard about it on Reddit, I went to the library to do a spot check, grabbed the reader, and found nothing. Keep in mind that the library consists of seven different vending machines."

People should be notified about these kinds of suspicious incidents, like when a skimmer is added to a vending machine. Banks are notified first thing, and later the vendors are responsible for checking their records. Torres mentions within the interview how the University requires a PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Stand).

"Nothing has been confirmed. I called our vendors, and they have not heard anything about any fraudulence on their readers," said Torres.

"Our vendors are notified of any incidence through the banks. The vendors are the merchant of record, so the card reader is owned by them and processed by the company. So the University is not the merchant of the record for any of the card readers. The router drivers who service machines should be checking the original when servicing the machines. We, the University, provide services to the campus that is pure by requiring our vendors to provide compliance, following the PCI DSS [Payment Card Industry Data Security Stand]." 

There has not been any confirmation that there was a skimmer present; instead, there is a misconception that the University is responsible for the student's stolen card information. 

"The police were not involved, and they do not know about it. And it would be difficult to put a skimmer in an open area with a bunch of people around. We are doing what we can to help ensure that we're providing services to our campus community that is secure and that we are using vendors that have secured means of taking payments," said Torres.

Students and faculty should contact Rick Torres at the following website for any further questions about how the vending machine works on campus:

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