How to safeguard your Bank ATM card from fraudsters?

Like the news on street-side robbery, house-breaking, bank robbery etc we were used to read in the news papers few years ago, nowadays we come across lot of news on debit card and credit card frauds.

Innocent people, especially salaried class are victims in these frauds as they expose their debit cards more in the ATM to take out their salary credited in the bank.

We provide here a news published in Hindu recently on one kind of these ATM Card frauds in which fraudsters were held by police in Chennai.

A gang that robbed 64 persons in chennai of over Rs.30 lakh last month after making fake bank cards has been busted by police.

The gang members used a slim skimmer device that they placed inside the card slots of four ATMs, in different locations, to obtain details of the victim's card details, including the PIN.Skimming machine to steal debit card information, ATM skimmer

Police launched investigations after Commissioner of Police received complaints from 64 persons last month stating that someone had drawn large sums of money from their bank accounts.

When the victims made enquiries with their banks, the officials told them that the money had been drawn using ATM cards.

It was found that the money was drawn from four ATMs – in West Mambalam, Kilpauk, Kotturpuram and Saidapet.

“The gang opted for the four ATMs because these facilities had neither a security guard nor a CCTV camera. We gathered information about the movement of people who visited the kiosks and details of calls made and received on mobile phones of those who came to the ATMs. During the cell phone trace, our team zeroed in on a mobile phone number, which was used at all the four ATMs,” the police said.

Fraudsters confessed to having inserted film-thin skimmer devices made in China, worth $ 2,000 each in the card slots of the four ATMs. The devices with a two-day battery life are capable of capturing card details, including the PIN, through an advanced sensor panel when a customer uses the card issued by the bank. They replaced the skimmer devices every two days and used the information to make fake cards.

Advanced skimmer devices with sensors can detect the movement of fingers on the numeric pad on the ATM.

Earlier, a pinhole camera on the skimmer placed inside the card slot was used by culprits to read the PIN number. Now the fraudsters have gone one step ahead.

The police have advised ATM users to inspect card slots for any suspicious objects and change PIN numbers of their bank cards at frequent intervals.

We also provide a slide show below issued by Common Wealth Bank.

This slide-show shows the possible area where skimmer device is installed by fraudsters in the ATM.

  • Though it may not be fully possible all the time by a layman to identify the illegal installation of a skimmer device in the ATM, a cautious look at the card insertion area of ATM may throw some light.
  • Even if you just suspect that the ATM is tampered with, you can go to a nearby ATM where security people are available all the time.
  • You can also avoid loss of your debit card information by frequently changing your ATM password.
  • Safest of all of these precautionary measure is not to expose your debit card linked to your main account in which you receive your salary and other payments in the ATM unless it's an emergency. Then how can we withdraw amount from this account for our day to day expenses?  Here we have an easy solution.
  • If you have internet banking facility for your main account, then you can easily safeguard your money. You have to open another account in another bank with ATM card facility and transfer small portion of amount to this alternative account from the main account using internet banking. Now the ATM card of the alternative bank account can be exposed in the ATM, while you never take outside the ATM card of the main account unless it's an emergency. Whenever, the alternative bank account balance is nil you can use internet banking within no time to transfer amount to the alternative account from the main account.

Here is the Slide Show.

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