ATM card swapping is on the increase – here’s how to protect yourself

CRIMINALS are always ready to try and steal your money, and you are particularly vulnerable when using the ATM.

Unfortunately these crimes appear to be becoming more and more prevalent.
Be aware of how these thieves operate: While you are using an ATM, a stranger will approach and try to ‘assist’ you. Your card will be taken out of the ATM by the criminal, who presses the cancel button to eject the card. It is then swapped without you even realizing it.

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The card swap usually happens before you have the chance to enter your PIN. While ‘helping’ you’, the fraudster remains close enough to see your PIN being entered.

You will then end up leave the ATM either with someone else’s card, or without your card which will have apparently been ‘retained’ by the ATM.
The criminal meanwhile walks away with your card and PIN, to use at their leisure. By the time you realise what has happened and cancel the card, your money would already have been withdrawn.

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Criminals attempt to confuse ATM users, making them more inclined to accept help. They my do this by changing the language on the ATM screen, by activating the ‘cardless function’ to change the way the display looks or by jamming the card slot or the pin pad of the ATM to lure a customer to a more remote ATM.

Here’s how to protect yourself:

* If you think the ATM is faulty, cancel the transaction immediately, report the fault to your bank and transact at another ATM.

* Avoid ATMs that are dimly lit or surrounded by loiterers and never allow your children to draw money using your card.

* Have your card ready in your hand before you approach the ATM.

* Be cautious of strangers offering to help.

* Follow the instructions on the ATM screen carefully.

* Only punch in your PIN once prompted by the ATM.

* Report suspicious items or people around ATMs to the bank.

* Choose familiar and well-lit ATMs where you are visible and safe.

* Report any concerns regarding the ATM to the bank. Toll free numbers are displayed on all ATMs.

* Be alert to your surroundings

Ref: southcoastherald

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