10 Tips to Protect Yourself Against ATM Fraud
It has become increasingly important to protect your ATM and debit card information especially in this world where ATM fraud and skimming are dramatically increasing over the past few years.
Skimming is the act of stealing your financial data such as Personal Identification Number (PIN) and account number using illegal devices installed to ATMs which are known as skimmers. These devices automatically read the magnetic stripe on your card which stores your account number. Meanwhile, the other method to capture your data is through a hidden camera which is used to capture your PIN number. Once the thieves have your data, they will copy it to a blank card and use it to have access to your money.
With ATM fraud on the rise, one should really be vigilant when withdrawing money from an ATM. Protect yourself from cash-hungry fraudsters by following these tips:
- Do not share your ATM PIN to anyone. Some people tend to forget their ATM PIN number that’s why they resort to writing down their PIN so they could remember it easily in case they forget it. It may come handy at times but it also makes it absolutely easier for thieves to know your supposedly secret PIN. Similarly, protect your PIN while you are the ATM by covering your hand while entering it.
- Use ATMs in high-traffic areas. When withdrawing cash, use the ATMs located in malls, banks and other high-traffic areas as these ATMs are less likely to be used for skimming because it will be difficult for fraudsters to install skimming devices. On the other hand, if you are doubtful on using the machine, defer using your card or try using a different ATM just to be on the safe side.
- Regularly update your account information. Updating your account information regularly makes it faster for your bank to reach out to you or notify you of any irregularities on your account.
- Be vigilant and pay attention to anything that seems unusual on the ATM. Before using the ATM, make sure you examine it and check if card slot looks permanently attached. Also, check the PIN pad if there are hidden cameras or false keypads. If you find anything weird or sketchy on the ATM, use another ATM instead.
- Monitor your account regularly. Make it a habit to check your account balance and transaction history to make sure you are safe. Also, keep transaction receipts and use it to compare your account balance and look out for any discrepancy. Moreover, ATM receipts will serve as a documentation in case you will have to report an incident. In case there is anything suspicious, immediately report it to your bank.
- List down the emergency hotline/customer service hotline of your bank. In case your card gets stolen, call it immediately and report the incident to your bank.
- Enable account alerts. Some of the banks in the Philippines are offering account alerts that will notify you of the transactions made using your account. Make sure you sign up for them so you will be easily notified in case there is any suspicious activity on your debit or credit card.
- Enroll your account online. Established banks in the Philippines currently has online banking facility that shows detailed activities and transactions in your account. Make use of this facility to easily monitor the activities in your account.
- Regularly change your PIN. Frequently changing your PIN can help reduce the risk of being a victim of ATM fraud. Also, avoid using a PIN that can be easily guessed such as your birthday, etc.
- Contact your bank immediately if you noticed an unauthorized activity in your account. Report the incident to your bank as soon as possible so they can immediately make an investigation.
We hope the above tips will help you be protected against ATM fraud and card skimming. Remember to be vigilant at all times.