How to avoid ATM fraud

Photo: Pinterest BE AWARE: ATM fraud is one of the most common types of fraud that happens over the festive season.

Nitesh Patel, head of Customer Financial Solutions, Personal Banking at Standard Bank explains the three typical types of ATM fraud.

Card swapping – Criminals distract you while you are entering your PIN and then swap your card.

Card skimming – This involves tampering with an ATM by placing an additional card reader over the ATM’s card reader. With a hidden camera, fraudsters steal your card details and PIN.

Vandalism – Criminals vandalise ATMS to force you to use ones in poorly lit, quiet areas, or to trap your card in the card reader. As a result, the following may 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. The criminal asks you to key in your PIN and press the cancel button to retrieve your card. This won’t work, but while you are entering your PIN, the criminal memorises it and removes your card once you have left.

How to avoid it: Check for visible signs that the ATM has not been tampered with before you transact, specifically where you insert your card.

If your card is swallowed, don’t accept help from strangers. Immediately call your bank to cancel it instead.

Stand close to the ATM and use your hand and body as shields when entering your PIN.

“If you’ve been defrauded, contact your bank immediately to cancel your card, and alert the closest security guard of the event,” advised Patel.

“If your card has been cloned, and funds withdrawn from your account, register your claim with your bank as soon as possible.”

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