Alert on ATM scams that can empty accounts in seconds

Fraud rates are skyrocketing again after a 41% jump in late 2021, and a personal finance expert has told ATM users how to avoid becoming a victim when withdrawing cash

Businessman withdrawing money from ATM at airport Businessman withdrawing money
ATM scams can drain your bank account in minutes, experts say

Not only is the cost of living rising, but fraud rates are increasing at an amazing rate as cunning criminals find new ways to rob people of their hard-earned cash.

Those using ATMs to withdraw their case need to know there’s another scam to beware of, experts say.

The scam sees criminals stealing card details to drain bank accounts within seconds of you inserting your plastic into the slot.

BristolLive say victims report their cards being held by the ATMs that swallowed their payment devices before a message appears on the screen saying the service is “unavailable”.

Card fraud rates in the UK rose 42 per cent in the last quarter of 2021, the highest rate since 2017, according to the National Fraud Hunter Prevention Service.

Fraud is on the rise so follow these steps to protect yourself


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Brean Horne, personal finance expert on a comparison site, nerd walletwarns checking account users to be extra vigilant when withdrawing money from ATMs.

He said: “These thefts are achieved through a discreet device placed over the machine’s card slot, which scans the card details, transmits the data to the criminal and then blocks the card from being returned.

“Scammers have multiple ways to access your checking account and spend your money in minutes. Therefore, it is important to stay alert and take preventive measures to protect yourself while using an ATM.

Brean continues on what you should do if you’re a victim of checking account fraud, along with five precautions to take when withdrawing money in the future.

  • If you suspect suspicious fraudulent activity after your card has been swallowed, the first thing you should do is cancel your bank card or block it from further use.
  • If you have a banking app on your phone, you can temporarily block your card until you know exactly what happened.
  • Contact your bank and let them know what happened. Also, do not exit the ATM while dealing with the situation, as the terminal may eject your card without warning.

Thefts are achieved through a discreet device placed over the machine’s card slot


(Getty Images)

Five precautions to take when withdrawing money from an ATM

Choose the right location

Using a secure ATM is essential not only for the safety of your money but also for your personal safety.

Ideally, you should always use an ATM that is located in a well-lit area with video surveillance, such as a bank. B. on a busy main street or in a secure building. If possible, avoid using an ATM after midnight or an ATM located in a deserted area. If you find yourself in an unfamiliar place and feel unsure or unsure about withdrawing from ATMs, don’t take chances. Instead, try to find a safer alternative to paying.

stay alert

It is important to remain vigilant at all times when using an ATM. Before using, take a moment to check the ATM for any suspicious activity. It’s also worth checking if you’ve been tracked or if someone is spying on you before using a machine.

Ideally, you should use an ATM with visible CCTV cameras around the machine or, if you’re indoors, a security guard nearby to increase your security. When taking your money from the machine, count it outside the ATM or only when you reach a safe place as it is not advisable to handle cash in a public area.

Secure your PIN when entering

Your PIN is the most valuable security measure when accessing your account through an ATM, so it is extremely important that you keep it secret. Always block your view of the ATM keypad when entering your PIN. Also, never give your PIN to anyone else, unless it’s a friend or family member you trust who needs urgent access to it.

If you are contacted by phone call or email, remember that banks will never ask for your PIN. Therefore, never let anyone persuade you to ask for it. Having the same PIN or password for more than one card can also compromise your security. Try to have different PIN numbers for each card and make sure they are not easy to guess e.g. B. based on a date of birth.

Also, avoid writing pins in your phone or notebook in case they are lost or stolen.

Check the ATM carefully

Scammers can manipulate unobtrusive electronic devices called “skimmers” that can record anything you type. Therefore, it is important to carefully inspect the device, especially the card and keyboard slot, before entering your PIN.

Sometimes these shady devices can even withhold your money. In this case, visit your bank branch or call the toll-free number for assistance. As an extra precaution, do not carelessly discard ATM receipts as the information they contain could be used against you.

Don’t ask strangers for help

If you’re having trouble using the device, you might want to ask someone to come by for help. While this may be fine in an emergency, never give out your PIN and never let them complete a transaction on your behalf. Also, never count cash in front of strangers.

Essentially, asking for help from someone you don’t know should be a last resort. Try getting help from someone who works for a bank nearby.

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Fry Electronics Team

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