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How to avoid ATM traps

Protect yourself from common threats at the ATM

Most of us use ATMs on a regular basis. But just because you’re familiar with the machines doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Take a look at some of the ways criminals have used them to steal people’s personal banking details.

ATM skimming

Criminals have been known to attach card readers to the card slots on an ATM. When an unsuspecting customer inserts their card into the ATM, the card reader will copy all the account information associated with that card. Other fraudsters will hide pinhole cameras near an ATM and then loosen or remove the PIN shields so they can record you entering your PIN.

Other ATM frauds

It’s not always so high tech. Sometimes a criminal will just watch you closely to try and see your PIN as you enter it. Afterwards they might try to distract you, perhaps by telling you that you dropped money or personal belongings. When you look away, they could try to swap your ATM or credit card for a dummy card.

What you can do

Smart Tips

  • If you notice any device or behaviour that looks suspicious, cancel your transaction immediately, take back your card and inform us
  • Don’t allow yourself to be distracted when you use the ATM
  • Refuse all offers of help from strangers when you are performing ATM transactions
  • Cover the numeric pad and make sure no one is looking over your shoulder when you enter your PIN
  • Never disclose your personal security details such as account number or PIN to anyone, even if they claim to be from the bank or the police
  • Memorise your PIN and don’t write it down
  • Choose a PIN that’s hard to guess
  • Use different PINs for different websites and channels (ATM, Phone Banking, Internet Banking)
  • Do not use your identity card number, birthday, telephone number or commonly used sequences such as 888888, 123456 or 00 as your PIN
  • Change your PIN regularly