ATM card fraud:How to look out for warning signs and avoid getting scammed?

Almost every individual has some form of ATM card with them in this day and age. Whether it is a normal card or even a debit card, you can use this card to withdraw funds at the ATM terminal. But while this card offers flexible financial means to access funds, it also offers fraudsters the opportunity to earn a quick buck at the expense of you.

So how can you avoid being in a position where your bank account and the funds within in are vulnerable to others? The first step is to understand where the possible places and locations are your ATM card will be compromised. It is mostly in places where you would swipe your card. Here are few warning signs you can keep a look out in these places:

• A bulky card slot suggests that the ATM is compromised. A skimmer device may be in place, causing the added bulkiness. These devices are often indistinguishable from other real card readers as they are often placed above genuine readers. To confirm this, check for a gap between the reader and the pin pad.

• Loose or blocked card slots may indicate a system known as the ‘Lebanese Loop’. In this case, the strip of metal or plastic is inserted into the bank card slot, which traps the card within the card slot. Once the customer walks away to call for help or waitfor assistance, the thieves return and retrieve jammed cards. To look out for such a scam, look out for a card reader slot that sticks out further than other parts of the machine.

• A loose or spongy pin pad can indicate a fake pin pad. Counterfeit pin pads allow thieves to retrieve your PIN number, as soon as you input it. Check and see if the pin pad is loose or thicker than normal.

While you are looking out for warning signs is one steps, you can always take certain measures to avoid being scammed. Here are a few steps you can take into consideration when you think your ATM card or the machine may have been tampered with:

• Instead of slipping your ATM card straight in, give it a bit of wiggle when sliding in. This is one way to deflect a skimmer device from reading your card properly. If a skimmer card has been placed on the genuine reader, the wiggle can dislodge it, and move it out of its place. Additionally, the wiggle movement will prevent the fraudulent card reader from completely reading your card.

• Covering your keypad as you enter your PIN number can also limit your chances of your card from being compromised. This is because most thieves also require the PIN code as well as your card details to access your funds. A simple step such as this one will prevent them from accessing your account.


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