09 July 2009

Guidelines Against ATM Scams

ATM Machine
The Bankers' Association of the Philippines (BAP) is urging depositors to take extra care when using automated teller machines (ATMs).

The call for added vigilance was triggered by the recent case of ATM fraud in foreign countries, particularly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The fraud involves capturing the stored personal identification number (PIN), card number, and other relevant information by skimming the magnetic strip of the ATM card using a specialized scanner. The captured information is then copied to produce a duplicate ATM card, allowing the scammers to make unauthorized withdrawals without the cardholder's knowledge.

The BAP also advises member banks to remind branch officers, employees and security guards to do the following:
  • Regularly inspect ATMs and booths for any unusual and non-bank installed devices (e.g. hidden cameras, cloning devices, glued traps); and,
  • Maintain alertness and closely observe suspicious individuals within bank premises, particularly around ATM booths.
For assistance, ATM depositors are advised to immediately contact ATM hotline numbers which are normally posted on ATM machines.

"The Philippine banks are taking all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its clients," said BAP in a statement. "Nonetheless, we are urging the people to take added care when using the ATM. By exercising vigilance, there will be lesser chance for users to be victimized by any fraud."

The BAP advises users to adhere to the safety guidelines in using the ATM:
  1. Never divulge your PINs to other persons. Change PINs if you think your PINs have been compromised.
  2. Cover the ATM keypad when entering your PIN. In case there is a hidden camera attached to the machine, covering the keypad with your other hand while entering the numbers could prevent the capture of your PIN.
  3. Cover the screen while using the ATM. Ensure that the ATM screen is not seen by other people while you are making your transaction.
  4. Use only ATMs that are in well-lit and located in secured areas.
  5. Do not use ATMs that appear to have tampered card or cash slots. Report anything that seems suspicious to the corresponding bank immediately.
  6. Be aware of your surroundings when using the ATM. Look around to check for suspicious characters lurking around the vicinity. Make sure that the person next in line to use the ATM is keeping a safe distance from you.
  7. Do not entertain strangers who attempt to engage you in a conversation or pretend to offer help while you are transacting in an ATM. This person may just be after your PIN and card number.
  8. Please ensure that you have retrieved cash, ATM card, and ATM transaction slips when transacting at the ATM.