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Citibank limits ATM withdrawals in New York City

Responding to ATM robberies, the bank is lowering daily withdrawal limits for all customers as a security precaution.

In response to a series of ATM robberies over the holidays, Citibank has drastically reduced the daily amounts its customers may withdrawal from ATMs. In some cases, customers of Citibank could once withdrawal as much as $2000 per day, depending upon the account. The new limits are around $500 per day for most customers.

Citibank attributes the action to reports of "skimming," the process of copying someone's ATM card and passcode or PIN, over the holidays. In one scenario, criminals may have mounted a false ATM reader in front of the genuine reader and later retrieved the false panel and its data. To get the PIN number required for ATM withdrawals, a digital camera may have been mounted above the keypad. The physical card data could then be transferred to empty or old mag stripe cards, such as expired hotel room keys. Criminals then could withdraw up to the daily limit on a card until its account was exhausted.

Citibank says it has reimbursed customers whose accounts were tampered with.