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Standard Bank warns us against ATM crime

By Faeza
22 November 2015

“ATM theft is one of the most prevalent financial crimes that occur at this time,” says Nitesh Patel, Head of Customer Financial Solutions, Personal Banking at Standard Bank. “While banks work tirelessly throughout the year and even more so during the festive season to ensure that customer accounts remain safe, consumers must remain vigilant.”

According to Mr Patel, the most effective weapon against ATM-based fraud is to be alert and informed. Below, he lists and explains the methods criminals use to access your money, and the steps to be taken to prevent such crimes:

The three most common forms of ATM crime:

  1. Card swapping: Criminals distract you while you are entering your PIN and then swap your card. This is done so quickly that very often you are unaware that you no longer have your own card.

  1. Card skimming: This typically involves tampering with an ATM by placing an additional card reader over the ATM’s. In conjunction with a hidden camera, the fraudsters steal your card details and PIN number.

  1. Vandalism: ATMs are vandalised for two reasons:

    • To force you to use ATMs in poorly lit, quiet areas where it is easier to commit crime such as Card Swapping and/or Card Skimming
    • To trap your card in the ATM's card reader, giving you the impression that the machine has ‘swallowed’ your card. As a result the following could happen:

      • You key in your PIN while being observed from a distance.
      • The criminal offers you the use of a cellphone to cancel your card. They then dial an accomplice who claims to be a bank official and asks you for your PIN.
      • The criminal advises you to key in your PIN and press the cancel button to retrieve your card. This, of course, won't happen as your card is stuck. While you are entering your PIN, the criminal memorises it and removes your card using a sharp object once you leave.