Don’t fall victim to ATM scamming!

2017-11-28 16:42
PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images

PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images

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As the festive season nears many South Africans will be taking it easy during their well-deserved holiday, but a small portion of the population will be working twice as hard – financial scammers.

This is because bank users tend to become less cautious when using ATMs.

Congested and noisy shopping centres in popular holiday towns are known to be the perfect locations for these criminals to commit their crimes and then disappear.

Earlier this year, The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), released its card fraud statistics for 2016, which reflects an overall increase in card fraud for 2016.

According to the report credit and debit card fraud was costing South Africa more than R600 million a year.

Even though the festive season is a time to be jolly and carefree, shoppers need to be extra vigilant when it comes to their money.

CEO of FNB Points of Presence Lee-Anne van Zyl says there are key safety precautions one must take to avoid being a victim of ATM scamming.

Here are a couple of tips to help you stay safe and enjoy the festive season:

1.       Always keep your ATM PIN confidential. Don’t share with anyone, not even friends and family. Also, don’t write it down!


2.       Make sure your pin combination is not easy to guess – stay away from birth dates and addresses. 


3.       When using the ATM, cover the key pad with your hand. Sometimes scammers place cameras to record your PIN as you punch it in.


4.       Stand as close as possible to the ATM and never let anyone stand close to you while using the ATM or distract you whilst transacting.


5.       Carefully read the instruction on the ATM screen before entering your PIN.


6.       Once you have withdrawn your money, immediately place it out of sight.


7.       Try to also avoid handling cash in public view and secure your wallet and handbag before leaving the ATM.


8.        Set a realistic daily limit to protect yourself, in the case where your details are compromised. 


9.       And make sure to check your statements regularly and report suspicious transactions immediately.


10.   Be wary of strangers that may call you back to the ATM to complete a transaction. They often ask for assistance or offer to assist you. Once           you have completed your transaction, leave as soon as possible and avoid conversation with strangers.


11.   If you are disturbed whilst transacting at the ATM, your card may be skimmed. This is done by it being removed and replaced back into the ATM without your knowledge. In that case, cancel the transaction immediately.

Some things to remember:

1.       Never ask for help from strangers, even the security guard – if you are unsure, visit a nearby branch for assistance.


2.        Never force your card into the ATM – if the card is not easily accepted by the device, it may have been tampered with by criminals           and never use an ATM if it looks faulty or show evidence of tampering.


3.        Pay attention to your surroundings and be alert - look out for loiterers.

If you suspect that your card has been stolen or may be lost, cancel it immediately. It will be blocked or cancelled, which prevents it from being used by anyone without your consent.

This doesn’t mean that you bank account will not be closed!  You will still be able to access your account. You can reorder your cancelled card at the ATM.


Read more on:    atm

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