ATM Fraud

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ATM Fraud


5 Clever ATM Theft Scams and How To Avoid Them

Introduction to ATM Fraud

Techniques used to carry out ATM crime

The latest scheme

Introduction to ATM Fraud


ATM Fraud has been with us since we first started using them. Although it is not considered one of the major frauds, it could have devastating effects on the victims thereof. A victim can loose an entire month’s salary or hard earned savings. The most important fact to remember is that criminals can only access your bank account via an ATM if they are in possession of your ATM bankcard and your secret pin number. It is therefore up to you to protect yourself against ATM fraud.

The following tips are intended to assist you in avoiding becoming a victim of ATM fraud.

  • Do not reveal your PIN to anyone.

  • Do not keep your PIN and card together.

  • Make sure that you are not observed when keying in your PIN.

  • Key in your PIN only when prompted to do so by the screen.

  • Don't let anyone distract or assist you when you are using the ATM.

  • Make sure the card in your possession is in fact yours before and after a transaction.

  • Avoid poorly lit ATM’s.

  • If only one ATM is working in a specific area, the others could have been sabotaged to direct you to that one.

  • Do not count your money at the ATM.

  • Lower your daily and monthly withdrawal limits.

  • Cancel your card immediately if it is lost, stolen or retained by an ATM.

  • Immediately report your lost or stolen cards to your bank and police.

Techniques used to carry out ATM crime

  • Card swapping – where a customer’s ATM card is swapped for another card without their knowledge whilst undertaking an ATM transaction.

  • Card jamming – where an ATM machine card reader is deliberately tampered with so that a customer’s card will be held in the card reader and cannot be removed from the machine by the customer. The criminal removes the card once the customer has departed.

  • Vandalism – where an ATM machine is deliberately damaged and/or the card reader is jammed preventing the customer’s card from being inserted.

  • Physical attacks – where an ATM machine is physically attacked with the intention of removing the cash content.

  • Mugging – where a client is physically attacked whilst in the process of conducting a transaction at an ATM machine.

Source: The Banking Council - South Africa


5 Clever ATM Theft Scams and How To Avoid Them

With more than 1.5 million ATM machines around the world, most of us simply take our ATM cards for granted. Unfortunately, thieves know this and use it to their advantage -- so ATM theft is a big problem.

In fact, as ATM banking technology advances so too do the thieves. They have become so clever in their crimes that you may well not see them coming. The good news is that there are easy ways to protect yourself from ATM theft. (Read more...)