How to protect yourself from ATM frauds

Since the banking comes into its virtual existence, ATM is very popular choice among users for fund withdrawls. Millions of users use their credit and debit card for Virtual and ATM transactions daily. Due to its flexibility and size users can carry ATM anywhere. But nowadays we have witnessed the rising cases of ATM thefts,unauthenticated fund withdrawls, snatching in ATM’s while withdrawing money and many other common cases.  However many banks has provided extra manual about using ATM in public place but many users are unaware of its working and loopholes, which could be exploited by any criminal or individual. This article puts some light on common ATM frauds and their prevention.

Note: Automated Teller Machine(ATM) is a electronic telecommunication device which is used by users to withdraw money using plastic card with in-built reader(named as a ATM card).

Common ATM frauds

a) ATM card skimming:

ATM card skimming is very latest technique used by criminals or individuals to deface users card. By using this technique criminals or individuals place a card reader device in ATM machine, which resembles like a part of ATM machine. When users use ATM for any transaction then it copies users card number and PIN number. This helps criminals to create another duplicate card using same card and PIN number. In this way they can easily access on behalf of particular copied card owner.

Note: ATM card slot can varies in shapes and sizes so users are advised to use ATM card slot carefully.

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b) PIN thefting:

This is a common technique where ATM user are followed by other user in ATM chamber. Here other person can easily see what other user is typing on keypad of ATM machine. Apart from this, criminals are also using mini cameras these days for recording user activities in ATM chambers. After recording user activities they can easily use their ATM cards to withdraw funds in an in-appropriate way.

c) Cash trapping:

In this technique criminals adopt two common techniques to trick users at ATM’s such as:

i) Criminals uses advanced devices to caputre ATM card physcially and steal required PIN number. In this technique every such attack cost one card of user. Many Criminals use these kind of cards to make fraud cash transactions.

ii) In second case of cash trapping technique, criminals attaches a device to ATM machine so that when the ATM tries to dispense cash then cash is trapped. After trapping cash in machine criminals eject trapped cash in such cases from ATM’s.

d) Transaction Reversal Fraud (TRF):

In this technique an error condition is created at the ATM which makes it appear that cash will not be dispensed. This forces a re-credit of the amount withdrawn back to the account when in fact the criminal gets the cash (through the insertion of device, e.g. a Claw, manipulation of the ATM dispense mechanism by hand, or more rarely through corruption of the transaction  messages).

Protect yourself from ATM fraud

Users can protect themselves by adopting simple techniques to avoid such frauds. Very importantly, user presence of mind while using ATM card is the key to stop such kind of frauds. I have mentioned few simple techniques for all readers with which they can save themselves from any ATM fraud.

a) Never rely on any unknown person for fund withdrawls from ATM’s. In most of such cases unknown person trick other user while doing any transaction.

b) Never use any ATM in silent or less crowded places as this increases the snatching rate of cash from user after cash withdrawls. Always use ATM’s nearby any bank branch, government offices or any crowded places.

c) Always double check security of ATM’s such as guard before the ATM chamber, installed CCTV cameras and fully functional ATM machine.

d) Never reply to any blank spam emails or fund transfer emails. Such emails may trick user by asking to send them money in exchange of lucrative services. If you got any such emails then visits your bank branch or double check with your bank website.

e) Always check ATM card slot before swiping.

f) Never disclose/share your ATM and PIN number on social websites. As this can increase the chances of fraud cash withdrawls.

Note: This article is only for informational purpose to all readers. Any misuse of above mentioned techniques is strongly discouraged and void.

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